JAMES KING-HOLMES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JAMES KING-HOLMES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Implant for aortic aneurysm. Surgery site in the abdomen of a middle-aged man, showing the repair of an aneurysm (ballooning) of the aortic artery. At centre right is a tube made of the artificial fibre 'dacron' inserted at 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 like atherosclerosis (fatty deposits). Surgery may include replacing or strengthening the diseased area of artery with a dacron stent (as seen here). If untreated by surgery, an aortic aneurysm may rupture with fatal consequences.
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