During surgery

Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) open repair surgery

Open repair surgery replaces the weak section of the aorta (the aneurysm) with a piece of manmade tubing (a graft). This operation is successful in most cases. The graft usually works well for the rest of your life.

Having a general anaesthetic or epidural

You have a general anaesthetic or epidural for this operation and should not feel any pain.

If you have a general anaesthetic, we put a small needle (cannula) in the back of your hand. We inject the anaesthetic through the needle and you are asleep in a few seconds.

Read more about having a general anaesthetic.

We give you an epidural through a thin tube (catheter) that goes into your back using a needle.

Read more about having an epidural.

What happens during open repair surgery

Your surgeon makes a cut down your stomach. This goes from your belly button to the top of your stomach or across your stomach.

Sometimes, we need to make a smaller cut in your groin or 1 on both sides. The groin is the area between your inner thigh and tummy.

We replace the part of your aorta that has the aneurysm with a manmade piece of artery (a graft). Then we close the cut with stitches or metal clips:

  • Stitches. If you have stitches, these are most likely to be dissolvable and will not need removing. If they do need removing, we arrange this 10 to 14 days after surgery.
  • Metal clips. If you have metal clips, we arrange for these to be removed about 10 days after surgery.

Resource number: 2876/VER5
Last reviewed: July 2021
Next review due: July 2024

A list of sources is available on request.

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