Treatment of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm

The goal of treatment is to prevent your aneurysm from rupturing. Generally, your treatment options are medical monitoring or surgery. Your doctor’s decision depends on the size of the aortic aneurysm and how fast it’s growing.

Medical monitoring

If your abdominal aortic aneurysm is small and you’re not experiencing symptoms, your doctor may recommend medical monitoring, which includes regular follow-up, abdominal ultrasound at least six months, and management of other medical conditions that could worsen your aneurysm.

A normal aorta measures up to 1.7 cm in a male and 1.5 cm in a female. In the treatment guideline of abdominal aortic aneurysm, aneurysms measuring less than 5 cm(1.9 inches) may be put on monitoring.

  • Aneurysms that are found incidentally or by accident that are less than 3.0 cm(1.18 inches) do not need to be re-evaluated or followed.
  • Aneurysms measuring 3.0 to 4.0 cm (1.57 inches) should be rechecked by ultrasound every year to monitor for potential enlargement and dilation.
  • Aneurysms measuring 4.0 to 4.5 cm (1.77 inches) should be monitored every 6 months by ultrasound.
  • Aneurysms measuring greater than 4.5 cm (1.77 inches) should be evaluated by a surgeon for potential repair.

Surgery

If the aneurysm is about 5 to 5.5 cm (about 1.9 to 2.2 inches) or larger, surgery is recommended. Doctors may also recommend surgery if the aneurysm is growing quickly. In addition, your doctor may recommend treatment if you’re experiencing symptoms such as stomach pain or you have a leaking, tender or painful aneurysm.

Surgery options may include:

Open abdominal surgery. Open abdominal surgery is to repair an abdominal aortic aneurysm by removing the damaged section of the aorta and replacing it with a synthetic tube (graft). The surgery will generally take you a month or more to fully recover.

Endovascular surgery. Endovascular surgery is a less invasive procedure used more frequently today to repair an aneurysm. Doctors attach a synthetic graft to the end of a thin tube (catheter) that’s inserted through an artery in your leg and threaded up into your aorta.

Recovery time of endovascular surgery is generally much shorter than with open abdominal surgery, but endovascular surgery can’t be done in about 30 percent of people with an aneurysm. Your doctor will evaluate and discuss with you in details.

Long-term survival rates are similar for both endovascular surgery and open surgery.

 

* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.