Questions and Answers – Getting an Endovascular Stent Graft Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA)

Overview

It’s good to ask questions. Take an active role in your treatment. When you meet with your doctor, make sure you understand the procedure, the risks of the procedure, and why the procedure has been recommended for you. Here are some questions and answers to start with.

Please note, these questions and answers are not intended to be a substitute for a thorough discussion with your doctor. Please read this information carefully and then talk to your doctor.

What determines the success of endovascular grafting for abdominal aortic aneurysms?

It depends on several things, including your age, your health conditions and the location, size, and shape of your abdominal aortic aneurysm.

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What makes me eligible for endovascular stent grafting?

Endovascular stent grafting can be performed if your aneurysm has not ruptured and if it has expanded in size to the point where your doctor feels endovascular aneurysm repair is necessary.

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How do I prepare for the surgery?

Your healthcare team will provide detailed instructions about how to prepare for endovascular stent grafting. In general, you can expect that several tests will be performed to ensure that it is safe to perform the surgery. Your doctor may also ask you to stop taking certain medications.

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Who performs this procedure?

The endovascular stent grafting procedure is performed in a hospital surgical suite, usually by a vascular surgeon and a team of specialists, including a radiologist, anesthesiologist, operating room nurses, and other experts as needed.

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What are the risks and potential complications of the procedure?

As with any surgery there are risks and potential benefits with endovascular stent grafting. Your doctor can explain how these risks and benefits may affect you. Here are some potential complications:

  • Blood leakages around the stent graft
  • Blockage of the flow of blood through the stent graft
  • Movement of the stent graft from its original site of placement
  • Fracture of the stent graft
  • Infection
  • Rupture of the aneurysm or aorta

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How long does the procedure last?

Usually the procedure takes 2 to 3 hours. Beyond that, you can typically expect to stay in the hospital for 2 to 4 days. Full recovery will take usually about 4 to 6 weeks.

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How long will the stent graft remain in my body?

The stent graft is intended to remain in your aortic aneurysm for the rest of your life. Your doctor will schedule regular appointments to make sure the stent graft is working properly.

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Information on this site should not be used as a substitute for talking with your doctor. Always talk with your doctor about diagnosis and treatment information.