Know the abdominal aortic aneurysm warning signs.Learn more »
These tests are used to locate an abdominal aortic aneurysm.Learn more »
Learn about procedures to repair an abdominal aortic aneurysm.Learn more »
We'll help you recover after your abdominal aortic aneurysm is repaired.Learn more »
If your abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) is diagnosed early and not in danger of rupturing, your doctor may order periodic diagnostic tests to ensure the aneurysm is not growing. You may be able to prevent it from enlarging by quitting smoking, controlling blood sugar if you’re diabetic, losing weight and eating healthy foods. However, if your aneurysm requires surgery, you’ll get the care you need at Lehigh Valley Health Network’s Heart and Vascular Center. Our vascular surgeons perform hundreds of procedures every year in our state-of-the-art operating rooms. We are consistently recognized as one of the best hospitals in the country by the most prestigious vascular care accreditation organization in the nation. We offer these abdominal aortic aneurysm treatments:
AAA open repair
Abdominal aortic aneurysm open repair involves an incision in the abdomen that allows the surgeon to directly see the aneurysm. The procedure is performed in an operating room under general anesthesia. The surgeon will make an incision in the abdomen either lengthwise from below the breastbone to just below the navel or across the abdomen and down the center. Once the abdomen is opened, the aneurysm will be repaired with a long cylinder-like tube called a graft. The graft is made of a cloth-like material. It is sutured to the aorta, connecting one end of the aorta at the site of the aneurysm to the other end of the aorta. Open repair remains the standard procedure for an abdominal aortic aneurysm repair.
Endovascular aneurysm repair (EVAR)
Endovascular aneurysm repair (EVAR) was first performed in the Lehigh Valley at Lehigh Valley Health Network. EVAR is a minimally invasive (without a large incision) procedure that repairs an abdominal aortic aneurysm. EVAR may be performed in an operating room or a cardiac catheterization laboratory.
The doctor will make a small incision in each groin to access the femoral arteries in each leg. With the use of special instruments, along with X-ray images for guidance, a cloth and wire mesh tube, called a stent-graft, will be inserted through the femoral artery and advanced up into the aorta to the site of the aneurysm. The stent helps to hold the graft in place.
The stent-graft is inserted into the aorta in a collapsed position and placed at the aneurysm site. Once in place, the stent-graft will be expanded (in a spring-like fashion), attaching to the wall of the aorta to provide support. The aneurysm eventually will shrink down onto the stent-graft. Compared to open surgery, this technique has less risk for complications and allows patients to recover more quickly.