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Treatment Heart & Vascular


Aneurysms of the aorta that are large enough to require repair are treated with one of the following:

  • Conventional Surgery A synthetic graft is sewn inside the aneurysm to the artery above and below it to prevent the aneurysm from rupturing.
  • Endovascular Repair A newer procedure that uses a catheter inserted in the groin to guide a self-expanding graft to the aneurysm. Endovascular repair does not require an abdominal incision and has a substantially shorter recovery. Not all aneurysms are suitable for endovascular repair.

Smaller aneurysms are monitored with ultrasound tests to watch their growth. Many never enlarge to a size that requires repair.

Aneurysms also can occur in other blood vessels, particularly in the arteries of the leg. These aneurysms are dangerous because they generally contain blood clots. The blood clots can break off and block arteries that are further downstream.

In other instances, the entire aneurysm can clot. Both of these situations can lead to decreased blood flow to the leg. Therefore, aneurysms found in the arteries of the leg are usually repaired as soon as possible once they are detected.

UCSF Health medical specialists have reviewed this information. It is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or other health care provider. We encourage you to discuss any questions or concerns you may have with your provider.

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