What is the role of surgical intervention in the treatment of abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA)?

Updated: Jan 08, 2019
  • Author: Saum A Rahimi, MD, FACS; Chief Editor: Vincent Lopez Rowe, MD  more...
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Answer

AAAs are treated with surgical repair. When indicated, unruptured aneurysms can be addressed with elective surgery, whereas ruptured AAAs necessitate emergency repair. The primary methods of AAA repair are as follows:

  • Open - This requires direct access to the aorta via a transperitoneal or retroperitoneal approach
  • Endovascular - This involves gaining access to the lumen of the abdominal aorta, usually via small incisions over the femoral vessels; an endograft, typically a polyester or Gore-Tex graft with a stent exoskeleton, is placed within the lumen of the AAA, extending distally into the iliac arteries

See Treatment and Medication for more detail.


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