Aneurysms that are larger 5.5 cm or growing rapidly (more than 0.5 cm in 12 months), will need surgery. Furthermore, a leaking, tender or painful aneurysm requires treatment.
There are two types of surgery for abdominal aortic aneurysms.
- Open-abdominal surgery to repair an abdominal aortic aneurysm involves replacing the damaged part of the aorta and replacing it with an artificial tube (graft), through an abdominal incision. Recovery time will likely take 4- 6 weeks with this type of surgery.
- Endovascular surgery is a less invasive procedure sometimes used to repair an aneurysm. A stent graft — a woven tube covered by a metal mesh support-inserted over a thin wire through an artery in your leg and threaded up into your aorta. The stent graft is placed at the site of the aneurysm and fastened in place with small hooks or pins. The graft reinforces the weakened section of the aorta to prevent rupture of the aneurysm.
Recovery time for people who have endovascular surgery is significantly shorter than for people who have open-abdominal surgery.
The options for treatment of your aneurysm will depend on a variety of factors, including location of the aneurysm, your age, kidney function and other conditions that may increase your risk of surgery or endovascular repair.