The thought of an aortic aneurysm can be frightening. Patients of the Minimally Invasive Vascular Center can expect to receive care that understands their concerns. From our perspective, a weak, bulging section of the aorta is a reparable problem. To strengthen the integrity of the aorta, the large artery that carries blood from the heart through the abdomen and out to the rest of the body, a surgeon inserts an artificial, biocompatible tube, or graft, in the affected section. Here, we discuss what to expect after this procedure.
Aortic aneurysm repair requires an incision in the abdomen. Patients should expect the incision area to be sore or tender for a few weeks. The stitches placed to close the incision are usually removed 5 to 10 days after surgery. While patients typically expect to feel sore after a surgical procedure, what can catch them off-guard is how tired they are. After the aneurysm repair, it is not uncommon to feel more tired than usual. This can last several weeks. It is not an indication of something gone wrong; it is the body’s way of healing.
In addition to feeling relatively fatigued, some people who have surgery to repair an aortic aneurysm also experience sadness or increased emotions for a short time. This has been known to last as long as 6 weeks. Patients are instructed to rest as much as needed and also avoid strenuous activities that may disrupt their incision. The lack of normal activity could be a contributing factor to the temporary sadness that occurs. There may be several ways to foster healthy emotions after surgery. Suggestions include:
- Schedule time with loved ones and friends. This may need to occur in the form of a phone call or video chat, but good company is good company and it can do wonders for a recovering body and mind.
- Prepare for recovery by collecting a few good books. Whether you read them or listen to them, an intriguing or uplifting story of personal growth book can help you through an otherwise tough time.
- Pick up a soothing hobby while you’re recovering. Maybe this is a great time to start drawing (there are free tutorials online!) or to experience the joy of coloring or gardening. Recovering from aortic aneurysm repair does not mean you cannot enjoy light activities; you just need to refrain from heavy lifting and activities that significantly increase your heart rate.
We’re here to address your circulation so you can keep doing the things you love. To schedule a visit to our Laurel, MD office, call (855) 803-MIVC.