The decision to repair an abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) is a complex one, which not only takes into account the diameter of the aneurysm but additional factors which increase the chances of rupture including; history of smoking, age and sex of the patient, high blood pressure, rate of expansion of the aneurysm per year, family history, and the shape of the aneurysmal sac. Surgery to repair an AAA is not without risk, even with endovascular repair procedures. Prospective studies have concluded that following aneurysms larger than 5.5 cm with serial ultrasounds or CT scans is safe. The risk of rupture dramatically increases once the aneurysm diameter is greater than 5 – 6 cm. Therefore the risks and benefits of surgical repair must be balanced in each case, prior to undertaking any surgical procedure, and if your aneurysm is small, serial monitoring may be appropriate.
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