Aortic Aneurysm Surgery

If you need surgery to repair an abdominal or thoracic aortic aneurysm, you're in good hands at UPMC.

Our vascular surgeons perform hundreds of procedures every year and work closely with other specialists to ensure you receive comprehensive and coordinated treatment.

About Open Aortic Aneurysm Surgery and Repair

Abdominal aortic aneurysm ​Thoracic aortic aneurysm
​Where it occurs: Abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA) occur in the large blood vessel that supplies blood to the abdomen, pelvis, and legs. Thoracic aortic aneurysms (TAA) are dilations of the aorta within the chest.
We advise surgery when:
  • ​AAA reaches approximately five centimeters (about two inches) in diameter.
  • Smaller aneurysms cause symptoms or enlarge under observation.

TAA reaches six centimeters or more.

​Hospital stay: ​Four to seven days. ​Five to seven days.
​Recovery time: ​Six weeks to three months for a complete recovery, depending on your circumstances. ​Two to three months for a complete recovery, depending on the complexity of your case or other conditions such as heart, lung, or kidney disease.

What to Expect if You Need Open Aortic Aneurysm Surgery

During open aneurysm repair, your vascular surgeon will make an incision in your abdomen (AAA) or chest (TAA) and replace the weakened part of your aorta with a tube called an aortic graft.

The graft is stronger than the weakened section in your aorta and allows blood to pass through it.

Many people who have a TAA also have heart disease or involvement of the aorta adjacent to the heart. These extensive or complex thoracic aneurysms may require heart surgery at the same time as open aneurysm repair.

More than 90 percent of open aneurysm repairs are successful for the long-term with few complications.

Contact UPMC's Division of Vascular Surgery

  • Patients/Physicians: Call 412-802-3333 to make an appointment or to refer a patient to a vascular surgeon at UPMC.

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