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Endovascular Repair of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm

What is an Endovascular Repair of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm? The aorta is the largest artery in the body. The part of the aorta that carries blood from your heart through your abdomen, and splits into iliac arteries that supply your legs, is called the abdominal aorta. An aneurysm occurs when there is a weakened part of a blood vessel that bulges or expands like a balloon.

Endovascular stent grafting is a procedure in which a stent graft is placed to reinforce a weak spot in the aorta called an aneurysm.

Special considerations before your procedure:

  • Do not eat anything after 12 midnight the night before your procedure.
  • Follow your physician’s instructions about medications and review your current medications
    together. Take your routine medications with a sip of water.
  • Bring all of your medications with you in their original container. This includes over-the-counter and herbal medicine.
  • Bring your Bi-pap/C-pap machine if you have one.
  • If you have been given a green armband, it is important to bring it with you for this procedure.
  • Wear comfortable clothes.

What should I expect when I arrive?

  • You will check in with the receptionist at the Hanson Heart Center within Lakeland Medical Center in St. Joseph and be asked to fill out paperwork.
  • The nurse will take you to the prep area to review your health history and answer your questions.
  • In the prep area you will sign consents, change into a gown, and have two IVs started. The IVs will allow us to give you fluids and medications as needed. You will also be given an IV antibiotic to prevent infection. 
  • You may also need lab tests done before the procedure.
  • You will have a Foley catheter placed.
  • Electric clippers will be used to remove hair from your chest to mid thighs.

What happens during the procedure?

  • You will be taken into one of our procedure rooms where you will be placed on the X-ray table. 
  • You will be attached to equipment that will monitor your blood pressure, heart rate, and oxygen level. 
  • An anesthesiologist will be present to give you medications to help you relax and sleep and to reduce any pain or discomfort you may experience.
  • Your surgeon will make a small incision on the right and left side of the lower abdomen/groin area. 
  • The graft is inserted into the artery through the incision and guided to the aneurysm. Once the graft is in position, the stent/graft expands and is anchored in place. Your physician will then close the incisions. 

What happens after the procedure?

  • You will be taken to the recovery area for a minimum of one hour or until a room is available. 
  • The nurse will frequently check your blood pressure, pulse, temperature, oxygen level, circulation, and surgical sites.
  • You will be admitted to the hospital for a minimum of over night and possibly longer. 

When you go home:

  • You will need to have someone drive you home when you do get discharged from the hospital.
  • Usually, your first post-operative visit will be two weeks after your procedure. Suture or staple removal will take place at this time.
  • Until your surgeon tells you otherwise, do not lift, drive, use a hot tub, take a tub bath, or swim.
  • Forty eight hours after your procedure, you may shower and begin to change your dressings daily. 
  • Keep the area clean and dry.
  • Do not apply any ointments, creams or powders to the area.
  • Instructions concerning your medications, activity, and follow up care will be discussed in greater detail before you are discharged home.