Aortic Aneurysm Surgery

If you need surgery to repair an abdominal or thoracic aortic aneurysm, you're in good hands at UPMC.

Our vascular surgeons perform hundreds of procedures every year and work closely with other specialists to ensure you receive comprehensive and coordinated treatment.

About Open Aortic Aneurysm Surgery and Repair

Abdominal aortic aneurysm ​Thoracic aortic aneurysm
​Where it occurs: Abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA) occur in the large blood vessel that supplies blood to the abdomen, pelvis, and legs. Thoracic aortic aneurysms (TAA) are dilations of the aorta within the chest.
We advise surgery when:
  • ​AAA reaches approximately five centimeters (about two inches) in diameter.
  • Smaller aneurysms cause symptoms or enlarge under observation.

TAA reaches six centimeters or more.

​Hospital stay: ​Four to seven days. ​Five to seven days.
​Recovery time: ​Six weeks to three months for a complete recovery, depending on your circumstances. ​Two to three months for a complete recovery, depending on the complexity of your case or other conditions such as heart, lung, or kidney disease.

What to Expect if You Need Open Aortic Aneurysm Surgery

During open aneurysm repair, your vascular surgeon will make an incision in your abdomen (AAA) or chest (TAA) and replace the weakened part of your aorta with a tube called an aortic graft.

The graft is stronger than the weakened section in your aorta and allows blood to pass through it.

Many people who have a TAA also have heart disease or involvement of the aorta adjacent to the heart. These extensive or complex thoracic aneurysms may require heart surgery at the same time as open aneurysm repair.

More than 90 percent of open aneurysm repairs are successful for the long-term with few complications.

Contact UPMC's Division of Vascular Surgery

  • Patients/Physicians: Call 412-802-3333 to make an appointment or to refer a patient to a vascular surgeon at UPMC.

©  UPMC | Affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences
Supplemental content provided by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions. All rights reserved.

For help in finding a doctor or health service that suits your needs, call the UPMC Referral Service at 412-647-UPMC (8762) or 1-800-533-UPMC (8762). Select option 1.

UPMC is an equal opportunity employer. UPMC policy prohibits discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, age, sex, genetics, sexual orientation, marital status, familial status, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected group status. Further, UPMC will continue to support and promote equal employment opportunity, human dignity, and racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity. This policy applies to admissions, employment, and access to and treatment in UPMC programs and activities. This commitment is made by UPMC in accordance with federal, state, and/or local laws and regulations.

Medical information made available on is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should not rely entirely on this information for your health care needs. Ask your own doctor or health care provider any specific medical questions that you have. Further, is not a tool to be used in the case of an emergency. If an emergency arises, you should seek appropriate emergency medical services.

For UPMC Mercy Patients: As a Catholic hospital, UPMC Mercy abides by the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services, as determined by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. As such, UPMC Mercy neither endorses nor provides medical practices and/or procedures that contradict the moral teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.

Pittsburgh, PA, USA