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What are the biggest post-surgical risks for aortic aneurysm patients?

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Up to 8 percent of patients who undergo open repair surgery for aortic aneurysm die during surgery or within 30 days, with complications involving the heart, lungs or kidneys occurring in up to 30 percent of patients, reports WebMD. One percent of patients die within a month of endovascular repair.

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Complications after aortic aneurysm open repair surgery include infection, bleeding and problems with the colon, erectile function and with the repaired aneurysm itself, according to WebMD. A few days of hospital recovery are required, followed by several weeks in which the patient may feel frequent fatigue and abdominal soreness at the incision site. While a return to normal activities is usually possible by week six, up to three months are sometimes required for full recovery.

While endovascular repair is not an open surgery and has fewer risks, post-procedural complications can include infection, bleeding and leakage around the stent graft, notes WebMD. Approximately 15 percent of patients who have endovascular repairs require additional surgical procedures. As of 2015, this minimally invasive procedure is new, and the long-term effects of endovascular repair are still unknown compared to the traditional method of open repair surgery for aneurysms. After a few years have passed, patients who opt for the open surgery live as long as those who undergo the endovascular repair procedure.

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