JAMES KING-HOLMES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JAMES KING-HOLMES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Aortic aneurysm surgery. Masked surgeons operate on the abdomen of a middle-aged man, to repair an aneurysm (ballooning) of the aortic artery. A tube made of the artificial fibre 'dacron' is seen and will be inserted within the weakened section of the blood vessel. Aortic aneurysm is a blood filled swelling in the wall of the aorta, the main artery passing blood from the heart to the lower body. It is a weakening of the artery wall due to disease such as atherosclerosis (fatty deposits) or may be inherited. Surgery may include replacing or strengthening the diseased area of artery with a dacron stent. If untreated by surgery, an aortic aneurysm may rupture with fatal consequences.
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