Auckland Vascular & Varicose Vein Clinic - Dr Peter Vann
Abdominal Aortic Disease Treatment - Endovascular or Open Surgery
The abdominal aorta is the main artery from the heart to come down to your abdomen. It can get diseased and cause either narrowing, blockage or the wall can get weakened and form an aneurysm which is a common problem in smokers, usually males in the 65 to 80 yr age group. If there is a blockage this could be bypassed with a graft or treated with a stent. If there is an aneurysm (ballooning of the wall), once it reaches a certain size it can burst (rupture) and the patient can die from this. Treatment is preferable before symptoms, either:
- Open Surgical repair with a graft sewn into the aorta to exclude the blood flow into the sac. This is via an incision in your abdomen and recovery usually takes 5 - 7 days OR
- Endovascular repair with a stent graft via a cut in the groin, the recovery is faster 2 - 3 days but not all aneurysms are suitable for this type of treatment. The shape and dimensions have to meet certain criteria to be suitable for a stent graft; your specialist will discuss this with you after first ordering a CT scan.