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Endovascular Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Repair

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) repair is surgery to fix an aneurysm in your abdominal aorta. An AAA occurs when your aorta weakens and bulges out like a balloon. The aorta is a large blood vessel that extends from your heart to your abdomen. An aneurysm that is too big may burst and need repair.


HOW TO PREPARE:

The week before surgery:

  • Bring your medicine bottles or a list of your medicines when you see your caregiver. Tell your caregiver if you are allergic to any medicine. Tell your caregiver if you use any herbs, food supplements, or over-the-counter medicine.
  • Ask your caregiver if you need to stop using aspirin or any other prescribed or over-the-counter medicine before your procedure or surgery.
  • You may need to take antibiotics before your surgery. Antibiotics prevent or fight infection caused by bacteria.
  • You may need blood tests before your surgery. Talk to your healthcare provider about these or other tests you may need.
  • You or a close family member will be asked to sign a legal document called a consent form. It gives caregivers permission to do the procedure or surgery. It also explains the problems that may happen, and your choices. Make sure all your questions are answered before you sign this form.
  • Write down the correct date, time, and location of your surgery.

The night before surgery:

  • Ask caregivers about directions for eating and drinking.

The day of surgery:

  • Ask your healthcare provider before you take any medicine on the day of your surgery. These medicines include insulin, diabetic pills, high blood pressure pills, or heart pills. Bring a list of your medicines or the pill bottles with you to the hospital.
  • An anesthesiologist will talk to you before your surgery. You may need medicine to keep you asleep or numb an area of your body during surgery. Tell caregivers if you or anyone in your family has had a problem with anesthesia in the past.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN:

What will happen:

You may be given medicine in your IV to make you drowsy or go to sleep. Healthcare providers will make an incision on each side of your groin. A sheath (long hollow tube) is put through your skin and into the artery (blood vessel) inside the groin. The sheath allows healthcare providers to insert different catheters into the artery during surgery. A catheter with a stent graft (mesh tube) is threaded through the sheath and into your AAA. Your healthcare provider will do x-rays or other tests to take pictures of your AAA and graft during surgery. Dye is injected through a catheter so that your AAA and graft show up better in the pictures. The stent graft is flat while healthcare providers thread it into the AAA. Once inside the AAA, the stent graft is opened up with a balloon-tipped catheter.

After surgery:

You are taken to the recovery room. A tight pressure bandage is used to cover the area where the catheter went in. This bandage keeps the area clean and dry to prevent infection and helps prevent bleeding. A healthcare provider may remove the bandage shortly after surgery to check for bleeding or bruising. Do not get out of bed until your healthcare provider says it is okay. When healthcare providers feel that you are ready, you will be taken to your hospital room.

CONTACT YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IF:

  • You have a fever.
  • The problems for which you are having the surgery get worse.
  • You have questions or concerns about the surgery.

Seek Care Immediately if

  • You have sudden chest pain or trouble breathing.
  • You see blood in your bowel movement.
  • You have sudden, severe abdominal, back, or side pain. The pain may travel down to your legs, hips, and groin.
  • Your heartbeats are faster than normal, or you can feel heartbeats in your abdomen.
  • When you touch your abdomen, it feels hard and tight.
  • You have nausea and are vomiting.
  • You have pale, sweaty skin and become suddenly become weak or faint.

Risks

  • You may bleed more than expected during surgery, get an infection, or have trouble breathing. The arteries where the catheters were put may be damaged. Your groin may be bruised. The surgery may cause blood clots or air bubbles in your blood. These could cause a stroke or a heart attack. Organs such as your kidneys, lungs, and liver may be damaged and stop working. Your AAA could break open during surgery. If healthcare providers cannot fix your AAA with this surgery, they may need to do open surgery.
  • Even after this surgery, your AAA may grow over time. Blood may leak between the graft and the AAA. This may make the AAA grow weaker and larger. It may even cause the AAA to rupture and be life-threatening. The stent may move out of place, break, or bend and block blood flow. You may get leaks between your aorta and other blood vessels or into your abdomen.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

© 2016 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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