An abdominal aortic aneurysm is a bulge or dilation of your aorta, the body’s largest artery. The bulging of the wall weakens the artery.
Most abdominal aortic aneurysms have no symptoms. Most are diagnosed when an x-ray or scan is done to diagnose another problem. Many times aneurysms remain undetected until the weakened aorta wall ruptures. However, if you experience a sudden pulsing feeling in your abdomen or a severe pain in your stomach or lower back, these symptoms may indicate that an aneurysm is in danger of rupture and urgent care is needed.
The causes of an abdominal aortic aneurysm are not entirely known. However, risk factors such as high blood pressure, smoking, and atherosclerosis (protein and fatty deposits in the arteries) contribute to the condition. Men over the age of 60 are more likely than women to develop an abdominal aortic aneurysm.
An endograft repair is less invasive procedure than an open surgical repair. The procedure may be performed in an operating room or a catheterization laboratory. The surgeon places a stent covered by material over the aneurysm. The stent directs blood through the graft and relieves pressure on the thin wall of the aorta. The endograft procedure reduces the risk of death, spinal cord injury, and blood loss.
While recovery time for an open repair may last months, patients return to their normal routine within weeks after an endograft repair.