Health Information

Aortic aneurysm repair - endovascular - discharge

Aortic aneurysm repair - endovascular - discharge

Alternative names

AAA repair - endovascular - discharge; Repair - aortic aneurysm - endovascular - discharge; EVAR - discharge; Endovascular aneurysm repair - discharge

When you were in the hospital

You had endovascular aortic surgery repair for an aneurysm (a widened part) of the large artery that carries blood to your lower body (aorta).

To perform the procedure:

  • Your doctor made a small incision (cut) near your groin to find your femoral artery.
  • Your doctor inserted a stent and a man-made (synthetic) graft through the incision into the artery.
  • X-rays were used to guide the stent and graft into your aorta where the aneurysm was located.
  • The graft and stent were opened up and attached to the walls of the aorta.

What to expect at home

The cut in your groin may be sore for several days. You should be able to walk farther now without needing to rest. But you should take it easy at first. It may take 6 to 8 weeks to fully recover.

Self-care

You will need to increase your activity slowly while the incision heals.

  • Walking short distances on a flat surface is OK. Try to walk a little, 3 or 4 times a day. Slowly increase how far you walk each time.
  • Limit going up and down stairs to about 2 times a day for the first 2 to 3 days after the procedure.
  • Do not do yard work, drive, or play sports for at least 2 days, or for the number of days your doctor tells you to wait.

You will need to take care of your incision.

  • Your doctor or nurse will tell you how often to change your dressing.
  • If your incision bleeds or swells, lie down and put pressure on it for 30 minutes.

When you are resting, try keeping your legs raised above the level of your heart. Place pillows or blankets under your legs to raise them.

Ask your doctor about follow-up x-rays you will need to have to check if your new graft is OK.

Your doctor may ask you to take aspirin or another medicine called clopidogrel (Plavix) when you go home. These medicines are anti-platelet agents. They prevent the platelets in your blood from clumping together and forming clots in your arteries or stent. Do not stop taking them without talking with your doctor first.

Lifestyle changes

Endovascular surgery does not cure the cause of your aneurysm. Your arteries may become wide again. To prevent the aneurysm from coming back:

  • Eat a heart-healthy diet.
  • Exercise.
  • Stop smoking (if you smoke).
  • Reduce stress to help lower your chances of having a blocked artery again.

Your health care provider may give you medicine to help lower your cholesterol. If you are given medicines for blood pressure or diabetes, take them as your doctor has asked you to.

When to call the doctor

Call your doctor or nurse if:

  • You have pain in your belly or back that does not go away or is very bad
  • There is bleeding at the catheter insertion site that does not stop when pressure is applied
  • There is swelling at the catheter site
  • Your leg or arm below where the catheter was inserted changes color, becomes cool to the touch, pale, or numb
  • The small incision for your catheter becomes red or painful
  • Yellow or green discharge is draining from the incision for your catheter
  • Your legs are swelling
  • You have chest pain or shortness of breath that does not go away with rest
  • You have dizziness or fainting, or you are very tired
  • You are coughing up blood, or yellow or green mucus
  • You have chills or a fever over 101 °F
  • You have blood in your stool
  • You are not able to move your legs
  • Your belly starts to swell and is painful

References

Hammond CJ, Nicholson AA. Aortic Intervention. In: Adam A, Dixon AK, Gillard JH, et al. eds. Grainger & Allison's Diagnostic Radiology: A Textbook of Medical Imaging. 6th ed. New York, NY: Churchill Livingstone; 2014:chap 85.

De Bruin JL, Baas AF, Buth J, Prinssen M, Verhoeven EL, Cuypers PW, van Sambeek MR, Balm R, Grobbee DE, Blankensteijn JD; DREAM Study Group. Long-term outcome of open or endovascular repair of abdominal aortic aneurysm. N Engl J Med. 2010 May 20;362(20):1881-1889.

Tracci MC, Cherry KJ. The aorta. In: Townsend CM Jr, Beauchamp RD, Evers BM, Mattox KL, eds. Sabiston Textbook of Surgery. 19th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Elsevier; 2012:chap 62.

Greenhalgh RM, Powell JT. Endovascular repair of abdominal aortic aneurysm. N Engl J Med. 2008 Jan 31;358(5):494-501.

Lederle FA, Kane RL, MacDonald R, Wilt TJ. Systematic review: repair of unruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm. Ann Intern Med. 2007 May 15;146(10):735-741.


Review Date: 7/30/2014
Reviewed By: Deepak Sudheendra, MD, Assistant Professor of Interventional Radiology & Surgery, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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