Surgery involves a general anesthetic and an incision on your abdomen. The aorta is clamped above and below the abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA). The aneurysm is then replaced with synthetic graft material. Blood transfusions are required in about 30% of cases. Post-op hospitalization is about one week and complete recovery takes up to 6 weeks. Possible complications include heart attacks, stroke, kidney failure, gangrene of your colon, impotence in men, blood clots in the arteries or veins of the legs. Nevertheless, the majority of patients do well and the operative mortality is less than 4%.
An alternative to conventional surgery is Endovascular Aneurysm Repair (EVAR). This procedure is less invasive and much less traumatic than open surgery.