A large blood vessel known as the aorta provides blood to the abdomen, pelvis and legs. An aortic aneurysm is when part of this vessel becomes too large or balloons outward. Abdominal aortic aneurysms are most common in men over 60, but can occur in anyone. Risk factors include:

• High blood pressure
• High cholesterol
• Obesity
• Smoking
• Emphysema
• Injury
• Syphilis
• Genetic problems like Marfan's syndrome

Aortic aneurysm surgery is usually recommended when an aneurysm reaches a dangerous size, continues to grow quickly or ruptures.

TRADITIONAL OPEN REPAIR - abdomen is opened; the aneurysm will be repaired by the use of a long cylinder-like tube called a graft. Grafts are made of various materials. The graft is sutured to the aorta connecting one end of the aorta at the site of the aneurysm to the other end of the aorta.

ENDOVASCULAR STENT GRAFTING - a stent graft (a fabric tube supported by metal wire stents that reinforces the weak spot in the aorta) is inserted into the aneurysm through small incisions in the groin. Endovascular repair of aneurysms does not require a large incision and has a substantially shorter recovery than the conventional open surgical approach.

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