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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Treatment for Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA)

    What operation do they do to fix it?
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • Dr Shannon Thomas

    Vascular Surgeon

    3

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    Dr Thomas is an Australian trained Vascular, Endovascular and Kidney Transplant Surgeon who holds appointments at the Prince of Wales Hospital in Sydney, and a ... View Profile
    • Randwick, NSW (02) 8294 5922
    • Bowral, NSW (02) 8294 5922

    Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) is a relatively common condition affecting people in their 60s and over. It causes an enlargement of the main artery in the abdomen (the aorta), which then becomes balloon like and can pop!

    This condition is treated by a vascular surgeon who can either repair it with an open aortic aneurysm repair, or using keyhole technique called Endovascular aneurysm repair (EVAR). Open repair requires the abdomen to be completely opened with temporary interruption of the aorta in order to implant a plastic graft. EVAR is performed through two small groin incisions where catheters and wires are used to implant a stent graft.

    A AAA should be treated when the risk of rupture exceeds the risks from repairing it. This point usually occurs when the aneurysm is about 5cm in diameter.

    The EVAR technique has many advantages over open repair. Patients are usually back home after 2 days, and there is very little pain associated with the process. However the shape of the aneurysm must be suitable for this technique. I therefore encourage any patient who is recommended for aneurysm repair to ask their surgeon if the AAA can be repaired using EVAR.

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