Your Guide to Treating Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (Video)

thoracic aorta and abdominal aortic aneurysm

The aorta is the most important artery in your circulatory system, transporting oxygen-rich blood from the heart out to all of the blood vessels of your body.

But the part of this artery just below the kidneys that carries blood to the lower extremities — what we call the abdominal aorta — is the most susceptible to aneurysms. An aneurysm is a bulge or bubble that develops in the artery.

As the aortic walls in the area of the aneurysm get thinner and weaker, the aorta can rupture and cause massive bleeding or even death.

In many cases, we treat an abdominal aortic aneurysm with an open surgery in the abdomen.

This whiteboard video helps illustrate how we clamp the aorta on either side of the aneurysm to block the blood flow, open it up and replace it with an artificial polyester tube called a surgical graft.

We then stitch the healthy parts of the artery to the artificial tube, stitch the aorta back up around the graft and restore blood flow to the lower extremities.

This surgery usually takes about two hours and requires people to be hospitalized for five to seven days. Within about a month, most patients can go back to normal activities.

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Daniel Clair, MD

Daniel Clair, MD, is Chairman of the Department of Vascular Surgery at Cleveland Clinic. In 2007, Dr. Clair was named one of America’s Top Doctors.
  • Harvey

    It’d be nice to know how an informed vegan diet compares to other diets, healthwise. In terms of animal rights it’s easy to compare.

  • TV53

    I’m sorry, but there is plenty of scientific data to back diets by Esselstyn, Ornish, and others. It must drive Dr. Esselstyn crazy to read articles like this coming from his own organization. The Pritiken center has released dozens of studies over the years, and Medicare thinks enough of the Ornish diet to now provide coverage. I guess if Esselstyn’s 20 year study, and more recent 200 person study don’t qualify as data, with their remarkable results, then I guess there’s no convincing you. Then again, you recommend a low carb diet despite the enormous volume of evidence that these diets are harmful over the long run, so it’s pretty clear that this article is not taking full account of the weight of evidence. Maybe all the local doctors who end up calling Dr. Esselstyn to help with their own heart issues might have a different opinion.

  • Ken

    Sad to see this advice with little or no reference to the impact of plant based diets on preventing and curing heart diseases, especially out of the Cleveland Clinic. Is anybody there looking at all the latest research on the impact of plant based diets on heart diseases?

  • http://www.myitnet.com Duke G

    It looks like there is a typo in this sentence:Folate and B vitamins have low risk as supplements, but there is little evidence there is improvement in PAD or lowered cardiovascular risk with these agents. They also can be harmful in patients with kidney disease. Low dose intake(400g) has been recommended for overall health.
    I doubt that 400 grams is recommended. Likely milligrams – mg.

    • The_Beating_Edge_Team

      thank you for the note! We have corrected it to (400 mcg)

  • ethel burton

    hi is there anybody out there who has a vein trapped in a curved spine that as turned to bone the vascular surgeon says he cannot remove the bone as it is too dangerous but he can put a baloon inside to open up my vein so the blood can flow better

    • The_Beating_Edge_Team

      Ethel, I spoke to Dr. Clair about your question and he stated that you should have a second opinion evaluation by a physician who sees these problems regularly. If you would like to see one of our doctors or have an online second opinion, let us know. We are happy to help you. http://www.clevelandclinic.org/heartnurse betsyRN