Aortic Surgery


This involves replacing the weakened and ballooned out aorta – the aortic aneurysm, with a synthetic graft, which is sewn by hand into the relatively normal blood vessel above and below the aneurysm. This prevents the risks of the aneurysm rupturing. It is a fairly major operation requiring a general anaesthetic, a long abdominal incision, intensive care stay, potential for blood transfusion, a hospital stay of 7-10 days usually, and a recovery time overall of 2-3 months. The new synthetic blood vessel is durable for at least 20 years.

The major uncommon risks of open aortic aneurysm repair similar to all major abdominal surgery include heart attack, stroke, chest infection, urinary tract infection, deep vein thrombosis. Specific risks of aortic surgery include bleeding, bowel infarction, amputation, impotence in men, graft infection. Overall risk of complication from this surgery is around 5% and this risk must be weighed against the risks of the aneurysm bleeding, which is related directly to the aneurysm size.