What are the risks?
In addition to general surgical risks, such as inflammation, wound healing disorders and allergic reactions, there is always the risk of cardiac arrhythmia during surgery near the heart. If the aorta is operated on, there is always a chance of damaging it, which can lead to bleeding. An emergency operation on an aortic aneurysm also has a significantly higher risk of complications than a planned operation.
Complications can also occur afterwards, such as a rupture of the surgical scar, which can lead to internal bleeding. In general, however, the risk of surgery is significantly lower than that of an untreated aortic aneurysm. If an aortic rupture occurs, there is an acute danger to life and there is little time for treatment. In order to keep the risks as low as possible, one should go for regular preventive medical checkups in case of corresponding indications.
What is the life expectancy with an aortic prosthesis?
Life expectancy after the use of an aortic prosthesis depends on the underlying disease. The most common disease treated with such a prosthesis is aortic aneurysm. The prosthesis represents a “repair” of the affected area, which normally lasts for life. However, the factors that lead to the aneurysm, e.g. arteriosclerosis, remain. Life expectancy therefore depends on how effectively these underlying diseases can be treated in order to prevent further diseases.
How is the aftercare?
The follow-up treatment depends on the disease that led to the insertion of an aortic prosthesis. In the case of aortic aneurysm, the recovery period after the procedure lasts 2-3 weeks for a prosthesis inserted by catheter, and up to 8 weeks for a surgical procedure. The earlier one starts to get up from bed and move around, the better the recovery usually proceeds.
However, one should not put too much weight on oneself, lifting loads over 5 kg is taboo and should be avoided for 3 months after the procedure. This can lead to a break at the surgical scar. In addition, cardiovascular risk factors such as smoking, diabetes or high blood fat values should be reduced.
Follow-up treatment also includes control appointments during which the aorta is assessed by ultrasound. You can find an overview of heart diseases here: Cardiac diseases After the operation it is usually not necessary to take extra blood-thinning medication. Aftercare is mainly concerned with physical protection with a slow increase in exercise and regular check-ups to detect possible complications at an early stage.