Eight ways to protect yourself from a stroke
More than 130,000 Americans die from strokes each year. Yet most strokes can be prevented with medication and healthy habits.
An aortic aneurysm is a bulge or weak spot in the aorta, one of the large arteries through which blood passes from the heart to the rest of the body. An aortic aneurysm may or may not cause symptoms or problems. A physician may detect this problem from an ultrasound or CT scan. Aneurysms in the aorta occur primarily in two places:
The best method to repair each aneurysm depends on factors such as the location and shape of the aneurysm and the overall health of the patient. Physicians and patients must discuss and decide if the risk of surgery is less than the risk of possible bleeding if an aneurysm is not repaired. Aortic aneurysm repair surgery repairs or removes an aneurysm through an incision in the skin.
In surgical aneurysm repair, a surgeon repairs or removes an aneurysm through an incision in the skin. An aneurysm also can be repaired by an endovascular approach (also called stent graft aneurysm repair), which is a minimally invasive procedure offered at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.
In a traditional (open) repair, a large cut is made in the abdomen. The abnormal blood vessel is replaced with a stent graft made of synthetic material.
The other approach is called endovascular stent grafting. This is a minimally invasive procedure that is performed inside your aorta using thin, long tubes called catheters. A small puncture is made in the artery in your groin. Then the catheter is used to place a stent graft inside the artery to reinforce the weak spot in the aorta. This procedure can eliminate the need for open surgery.
Aortic aneurysms can be monitored or corrected surgically while the bulge is intact but require emergency surgery when they rupture. If your abdominal aortic aneurysm is small, your physician may recommend watching and waiting, which means that you will be monitored every six to 12 months for signs of changes in the aneurysm size.
Preparing for your procedure
Prior to surgery, you’ll meet with your physician to discuss your medical history, the medicines you take and any questions you have. Your physician may also schedule routine tests including:
A vascular surgeon will give you instructions to follow before the surgery, such as fasting and when to stop taking medications you normally take.
During your procedure
There are two types of aortic aneurysm repair surgeries. You and your surgeon will determine which procedure is right for your condition.
After your procedure
You may be connected to this equipment after surgery:
Your physician may schedule you for an imaging study to make sure that your aneurysm is not redeveloping and that the graft is functioning properly.
You may stay in the hospital for seven to 10 days after your surgery, depending on the site of your incision and your general health. Your physician or vascular surgeon will give you any special instructions you need to follow after the surgery.
Get tips from Ohio State experts right to your inbox.
We'll be in touch every so often with health tips, patient stories, important resources and other information you need to keep you and your family healthy. Welcome to our online community here at the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center!