Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA) Treatments

Memorial’s Heart and Vascular Center vascular surgeon, Dr. Patrick Neville, talks about how abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA) are treated and what the procedure is like.

How do you treat AAA?

There’s various ways to treat AAA. Fortunately, vascular surgery is at the forefront of medical technologies to address these problems and decrease the morbidity and mortality. A majority of aneurysms, abdominal aortic aneurysms, are fixed with stents. 

How do you determine which type of stent to use?

A lot of it is dependent on the patient’s anatomy and what other medical problems the patient may have. Two types of stents that may be used are the Cook or GORE stents.

What is the procedure like?

Typically, what we do here at Memorial, if you’re a candidate, is give a general anesthetic. You go to sleep, and we use an ultrasound. You have no incisions more than around two millimeters and through wire- and catheter-based technologies, we’re able to build the stents inside the patient’s arteries. We then seal off the aneurysm and create a new aorta so the blood goes through the graft and no longer does it go into the aneurysm. In doing that, we’ve kind of healed or fixed the problem, and the chance of rupture is no longer there.