NHS SCREENING PROGRAMMES
ABDOMINAL AORTIC ANEURYSM

PATIENT EXPERIENCE: CRITICAL CARE
AFTER OPEN SURGERY

It's a fairly major procedure,

to have an aneurysm repair done
by the open method.

DR IAN CRABB, CONSULTANT IN
ANAESTHETICS AND CRITICAL CARE

Puts a fair amount of strain
on the body as a whole

and it's important therefore
that they get a high degree

of nursing and medical monitoring in
the immediate post-operative period.

That's what we can achieve here.

So the sort of things we need to do

is make sure that
their blood pressure is adequate,

that their heart's beating effectively,
their kidneys are working and so on.

The level at which we can do that
here on the critical care unit

is higher than can be achieved
on a normal ward environment.

Normally, we'd expect to be able to
wake the patient up straight away

if the procedure's been straightforward,
as it usually is.

The patient gets woken up and taken to
the recovery area for an hour or so,

stabilised there and then brought here

for us to continue the level of care
as I was saying just now.

Occasionally, if the procedure is
more complex or takes a bit longer,

we might keep the patient asleep
and bring them round sedated

and still on the ventilator,
on the breathing machine

and stabilise them for a few hours here

before waking them up
and continuing the care.

We'd normally expect to keep them
for 48-72 hours, that's fairly standard.

If there are other issues,
they may stay a day or so longer,

but around about two to three days
in other words.