Aneurysm Repair Surgery Options

A ruptured aneurysm is a life-threatening vascular condition that requires immediate surgical repair.

An aneurysm is a balloon-like bulge in an artery or a weak spot in the wall of a blood vessel that makes the artery or blood vessel susceptible to rupture. Many aneurysms develop over the course of several years without causing any noticeable symptoms.

If an aneurysm is detected through a CT scan, an MRI, a cerebral angiogram or a cerebrospinal fluid test, it may be treated with medication to lower the patient’s blood pressure and reduce the risk of rupture. Aneurysm repair surgery may be considered if the risk of rupture is high. A ruptured aneurysm is a life-threatening emergency that requires immediate surgical repair.

Conditions Treated With Aneurysm Repair Surgery

Aneurysms can develop in different areas of the body. The various types include:

  • Abdominal aortic aneurysms – Occur in the large blood vessel that supplies blood to the abdomen, pelvis and legs (aorta)
  • Thoracic aortic aneurysms – Occur in the portion of the aorta that passes through the chest
  • Cerebral aneurysms – Occur in the wall of a blood vessel in the brain
  • Peripheral aneurysms – Occur in the popliteal artery, the femoral artery or the carotid artery

Types of Aneurysm Repair Surgery

The two main types of aneurysm repair surgery are:

  • Open aneurysm repair – This procedure is the standard approach to repairing an abdominal aortic aneurysm. After making a long incision in the abdomen, the surgeon removes the weakened portion of the aorta and replaces it with a coil or tube-shaped graft to strengthen the affected area and promote proper blood flow.
  • Endovascular aneurysm repair – A potentially effective alternative to an open repair for some patients with an abdominal aortic aneurysm or a thoracic aortic aneurysm, this minimally invasive procedure is performed from within the affected blood vessel. After making a few small incisions in the groin, the surgeon inserts a miniature camera and specialized surgical instruments. Guided by high-resolution, real-time imaging, the surgeon then threads a long, thin catheter into the aorta and places a stent grant to reinforce the weakened vessel walls.

What to Expect After Aneurysm Repair Surgery

After an open aneurysm repair, most patients spend a few days in the hospital, then recover gradually over the next several weeks and achieve a full recovery within approximately three months. Because an endovascular aneurysm repair does not require large incisions, the recovery period is generally quicker, although most patients have regular CT imaging exams to help ensure that the graft is functioning properly.

The team of heart and vascular specialists at Tampa General Hospital utilizes state-of-the-art techniques and technologies to provide our patients with comprehensive aneurysm treatment services, including innovative aneurysm repair surgery. We’re proud to be nationally recognized for our outstanding cardiac care, and we’ve earned a spot on U.S. News & World Report’s list of America's Best Hospitals for Cardiology & Heart Surgery every year since 2008.