Aortic aneurysm surgery in Iran: all you need to know
Aortic aneurysm surgery is an operation to repair or replace the section of the artery that is bulging out. An aneurysm can occur when the inner walls of the artery are weakened and the blood flow presses on the artery’s wall. The abnormal bulge that is developed as a result of this condition could rupture and lead to life-threatening conditions. An aneurysm can affect the blood vessels in any part of the body. The most common type of aneurysm is aortic aneurysm that occurs in the aorta, our body’s largest blood vessel. The surgery to resolve this condition is known as aortic aneurysm surgery.
With the latest advancements in aortic aneurysm treatments, the risk accompanied by undergoing aneurysm surgery has been reduced to as low as 5%. As a result, surgical treatment is preferred over medication in most cases.
What to expect for aortic aneurysm surgery in Iran
Here are the steps you should take to undergo effective aortic aneurysm surgery in Iran through AriaMedTour:
- Send your request via the online form or Email. You can also start a free consultation using WhatsApp or online chat. Our team will get back to you and the appropriate coordinator will be assigned to you. Once you get in touch with us, we will help you with planning the trip, booking the necessary appointments, and any consultation you may require. Online healthcare support will be available to you before, during, and after your stay in Iran.
- Once your plane lands in Iran, you will meet with your interpreter. They will help you get to the hotel or go sightseeing in the city. They will also accompany you during your appointment with the doctor and on the day of surgery in the hospital.
- On the day of surgery, your private transfer will pick you up from the hotel. Once you are in the hospital, the International Patients Department (IPD) will receive you. There, you will be catered with exemplary care by English speaking staff. The international department of the hospital will be in constant contact with the care team at AriaMedTour, informing us of every stage of the treatment.
- The recovery period includes up to a week in the hospital and about two weeks in the hotel. The surgeon will give you a set of instructions you should follow for an effective recovery. AriaMedTour healthcare team will also have a copy of the instructions to ensure you are provided with everything you need during the recovery.
- After the recovery period and with the surgeon’s approval, you can fly back home. Your stay in Iran ends at this point but the healthcare support doesn’t. You will receive regular follow-up consultations from our specialists for a year after the procedure.
The cost of aortic aneurysm surgery in Iran
Aortic aneurysm surgery cost in Iran falls somewhere between $3,500 and $7,500. Considering this price includes additional costs such as anesthesia and required hospital stay, it is relatively lower than most countries where the same quality care is offered. In New Zealand, for instance, the total cost of either type of aortic aneurysm surgery is about $30,000 excluding the extra costs.
How is aortic aneurysm surgery performed?
When the aneurysm reaches a considerably dangerous size and it is growing too fast, your healthcare team will recommend surgery. However, not all surgical procedures to repair aneurysm are performed on an emergency basis. Many cardiologists might recommend elective surgery to prevent aneurysm rupture or dissection.
There are two types of aortic aneurysms: thoracic aortic aneurysm and abdominal aortic aneurysm or AAA. The former aortic aneurysm is located in the chest area and in most cases, the surgeon will try to repair it using open-chest surgery. The most common type of aortic aneurysm is the abdominal aortic aneurysm. The surgery to repair an abdominal aortic aneurysm usually involves the endovascular technique.
Types of aortic aneurysm Surgery
There are two main approaches to aortic aneurysm surgery. Based on the size and location of the aneurysm, the surgeon chooses a technique to operate on the blood vessel.
Open surgery: The open-chest surgery or open-abdominal surgery is the most common type of procedure to repair an aneurysm. It involves cutting open the area to expose the artery. Through this incision, the surgeon can operate on the artery. The surgery can be performed on the thoracic aorta or the abdominal aorta. To repair aortic aneurysm using the open approach, the weakened section of your aorta will be replaced with a tube or graft. The procedure might take between 2 to 6 hours and you may have to stay at the hospital for up to a week after the surgery.
Endovascular surgery: Endovascular Aortic Repair surgery or EVAR is a less invasive alternative to traditional open surgery. It involves making small incisions on the groins. The surgeon uses these incisions to thread a catheter into the aorta. This catheter carries a certain stent that will be left at the location of the aneurysm. As a result, blood flow cannot put additional pressure on the weak aortic walls or increase the swelling. Based on the location of the bulge in the aorta, the surgeon might use a stent graft or fenestration. You might need to spend one or more days at the hospital after the procedure.
Endovascular aortic repair is a less invasive alternative to traditional open surgery for treating an aneurysm.
Both procedures are usually performed under general anesthesia. While open surgery might take up to 6 hours, endovascular surgery will take about 3 hours max. By educating yourself about the different approaches to repair aortic aneurysm surgery, you can prepare yourself more efficiently. However, it is usually the surgeon who decides which technique is suitable for your case.
Am I a candidate for aortic aneurysm surgery?
The healthcare team will compare the risk of surgery with the risk of rupture. When the risk of surgery is lower than the risk of living with aneurysm complications, the healthcare team will recommend surgery. Depending on your age, gender, genetics, and where the aneurysm is located, the risk of surgery might be low or high. Two major indications usually imply that surgery is required:
- When the bulge is larger than 5 cm in women and 5.5 cm in men.
- When the rate of the aneurysm’s progression is high, increasing the risk of its dissection.
If you are considering flying to Iran for aortic aneurysm surgery, make sure a specialist approves getting on a plane with an aortic aneurysm. Because the pressure caused by flying can increase the risk of aneurysm rupture.
Aortic aneurysm surgery recovery and aftercare
After you are discharged from the hospital, you will be given some instructions on how you should take care of the incision and the activities you should avoid. It will take 2 to 3 months to fully recover from aortic aneurysm surgery, but you can do most of your usual activities about 4 to 6 weeks after the surgery.
During recovery, you can expect to experience some pain and soreness around the area of the incision(s). You should tell your doctor if the pain gets unbearable. You might also experience sadness or feel tired for up to 6 weeks after the surgery.
Activity: Avoid doing strenuous activities including jogging, bicycle riding, heavy lifting, and other exercises that could put pressure on your incision. Also, you shouldn’t lift heavy things like a baby, vacuum cleaner, or shopping bags. Follow your doctor’s instructions about performing certain exercises that could boost healing.
- Note: Ask your doctor when you can take a bath. Usually, taking showers is okay if you pat dry the incision.
Diet: It is normal for the patient to lose his or her appetite immediately after the surgery. Having a liquid meal is a good alternative in this time. If your appetite does not improve within 4 weeks after the surgery, contact your doctor.
- Your medication regimen will probably change after the surgery. Your doctor will prescribe medication some of which you might have to take for the rest of your life. It is important to take medications exactly as instructed by your doctor.
Aortic aneurysm surgery risks and complications
Tiredness, loss of appetite, pain in the area of the incision, and weight loss are some common side effects of aneurysm surgery. Aside from the side effects, you should keep an eye on the precautions the surgeon suggests to prevent possible risks and complications.
The open approach to repair an aneurysm is a relatively safe procedure. Yet, as with any other surgery, there are some risks or side effects that one must consider. In very rare cases, death, stroke, heart attack, or paralysis could occur. Some examples of risks that could follow open surgery are:
- Heart-related problems
- Lung or urinary infection
To lower the risk of such complications, the specialist will take the patient’s current general health into account. When the patient is too old or has a significant health problem, the less invasive approach will be recommended.
Endovascular aortic aneurysm repair or EVAR is a minimally invasive approach. Although the procedure has a higher survival rate compared to open surgery, it might be followed by some complications, namely:
- Blood leaking around the graft
- Ruptured graft
- Stent breaking or disposition
A healthcare professional can offer the best guidance regarding whether or not the risks are high to undergo surgery. Contact us to get in touch with experts for a free consultation.