Your doctor looks at the images from your ultrasound to see if you have an abdominal aortic aneurysm. If you do, your doctor may recommend one of these choices:

  • Watchful waiting. If your aneurysm is smaller than 2 inches (5 centimeters) in diameter, your doctor may not think your aneurysm is serious enough to require surgery now. If this is the case, your doctor may check your condition every six months for changes, using additional ultrasound exams or other imaging tests.
  • Open aneurysm repair. If your aneurysm is serious enough to require surgery, your doctor may recommend open aneurysm repair. In this procedure, your doctor opens your abdomen, removes the portion of your abdominal aorta that has the aneurysm and replaces it with a tube-like graft.
  • Endovascular stent graft. This procedure reinforces the weakened portion of the abdominal aorta with a graft similar to the type used in open aneurysm repair. Instead of opening your abdomen, a surgeon threads the graft through a thin tube called a catheter. The graft then supports the weakened portion of your aorta so that it won't rupture. Long-term results and benefits of endovascular surgery versus those of open aneurysm surgery are currently unknown. However, those who have an endovascular stent graft are less likely to have complications during their procedure than people who have open aneurysm repair.
Oct. 10, 2012