Expert vascular surgeons at the University of Miami Health System perform open aneurysm repairs to strengthen the walls of the aorta (the artery that takes blood from your heart to the rest of your body). Without an aneurysm repair, you may be at risk for aortic dissection, a life-threatening condition that causes internal bleeding.
You may need an open aneurysm repair if you have an abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA). An AAA is a weak area in the wall the aorta that bulges outward and is at risk of rupturing. Men over the age of 65 who have smoked are at highest risk for an AAA.
What to Expect
Before scheduling your surgery, your doctor may perform a physical exam and run some blood tests to ensure you are healthy enough for surgery. Once you are cleared for surgery, you can begin preparing by stopping smoking.
During open aneurysm repair, you will be asleep under general anesthesia. Because of the anesthesia, it is important to tell your doctor about any medicines you take. You should also avoid eating for several hours before your procedure.
Once you are anesthetized, your surgeon will make an incision in your abdomen. This incision allows them to reach the aorta, which runs down the center of your abdomen.
Your doctor will place clamps above and below your aneurysm to temporarily stop blood flow. They will then open your aorta to place a tube called a stent graft into the aneurysm. The stent graft will strengthen the walls of your aorta in that area, reducing risk of rupture (dissection).
Your surgeon will then sew the aorta back together and remove the clamps. They will stitch up your incision and apply a bandage.
After your procedure, you will stay in the intensive care unit where you will be closely monitored. You will receive pain medicines to help keep you comfortable. You may temporarily have a breathing tube and need to complete breathing exercises after the tube is removed. Once you are doing well, your doctor will move you to the post-surgical care unit where you can begin to move around out of bed and continue to recover. Overall, you may spend a few days to a week in the hospital.
At home, you can continue taking pain medicines and should not drive until your doctor says it is okay. You may need to avoid other activity that put strain on your incision. Always ask your doctor if you are unsure about an activity.
This procedure requires a lot of expertise from the surgeons. At UHealth, our highly trained surgeons have special experience in open procedures, improving patient outcomes.
Why Choose UHealth?
Leading-edge imaging care in South Florida. Our doctors are also researchers discovering new ways to improve diagnosis and treatment. That means you can get some of today’s most promising advancements through clinical trials. You benefit from the latest developments that are fast-tracked from the lab to the bedside.
Advanced, hard-to-find procedures. Our doctors are committed to caring for every patient. That’s why they offer the latest treatments, including limb salvage, endovascular grafting and thoracic outlet decompression, to improve your blood flow.
All the care you need, from one physician. Our vascular surgeons perform a wide range of procedures so you can have the same physician for any vascular care you need as your condition changes. Whether you need a stent replaced or a vein grafted, you can always turn to the doctor you trust.
Experienced doctors, reliable results. UHealth vascular surgeons perform hundreds of stent placements, angiograms and more every year. You can rely on their experience to help you avoid complications and have a positive outcome.