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Vascular Surgery / Studies

What is an Aneurysm

Xray image of an Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (B)

An aortic aneurysm is a ballooning or widening of the aorta, the largest artery in the body.

The aneurysm weakens the wall of the aorta and can end in the aorta rupturing with catastrophic consequences. As the diameter of the aneurysm increases, the chances of the aneurysm rupturing rise dramatically.

Large aortic aneurysms are very perilous and can be silent, with few or no symptoms. Men over 60 are particularly at risk and the government is close to introducing a national screening programme to detect aneurysms before they cause problems.

Fortunately, aneurysms can be repaired safely. Both open surgery and keyhole surgery (EVAR) with stents are available at Southmead Hospital (North Bristol NHS Trust) through the Vascular Network. The best method to repair each aneurysm depends upon several factors, including the location and shape of the aneurysm as well as the overall health of the patient.

The documents below give further information on Open/Abdominal Aneursym repair and Endovascular Aneurysm Repair (EVAR):


Next Section: What is an aortic aneurysm?





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