How do I prepare for the procedure?

A few days before the procedure, you may need pre-procedure tests to make sure it is safe for you to have the surgery. You may need to stop taking certain medications before the procedure. Your healthcare team will give you specific instructions to help you prepare for the procedure.

What happens during the procedure?

You will either receive a sedative and a local anesthesia or general anesthesia (be put to sleep). You surgeon will make small incisions in your groin and perform the surgery through those openings. Catheters are inserted in the incisions to guide and deliver a stent-graft through the blood vessels to the aneurysm. An endovascular stent graft is a fabric tube supported by metal wire stents (also called a scaffold) that reinforces the weak spot in the aorta.

Using X-ray guidance, the surgeon places the graft in the area of the aneurysm. The graft is then opened up inside the aorta and held in place with metal hooks and stents rather than sutures (stitches).

By tightly sealing the area with your artery above and below the aortic aneurysm, the graft allows blood to pass through it without pushing on the aneurysm.

How long does the procedure last?

The procedure itself generally takes 2 to 3 hours. You will stay in the hospital 1 to 2 days. Full recovery will take about a month.

What happens after the procedure?

Your surgeon will give you specific instructions to follow after the surgery until your incision is properly healed.

You may have the following restrictions after the procedure:

  • DO NOT drive until your doctor says it is OK (usually within 1–2 weeks after the procedure and you have stopped taking pain medication).
  • DO NOT take a bath until the incisions heal. Showers and sponge baths around the incision are OK 2 days after the procedure.
  • DO NOT lift more than 10 pounds for about 4 to 6 weeks after the procedure.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 04/29/2019.

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