An aortic aneurysm is an abnormal weakness in the main blood vessel (aorta) that transports blood from the heart. When the aorta “balloons” to a dangerous size, it must be repaired to decrease the patient’s risk of rupture. Aneurysms that are less than 5 cm in size can be watched very closely and usually do not require surgical intervention. Once an aneurysm reaches 5 cm or causes symptoms, intervention is typically recommended. Most abdominal aneurysms can now be repaired with the placement of an endovascular graft (minimally invasive procedure). If an open repair is required, these patients must have an extensive preoperative work up including an arteriogram (similar to a heart catheterization). These patients can plan on a five to eight day hospital stay and a four to six week recovery period. After recovery, these patients may resume their normal activities.