Patients with small abdominal aortic aneurysms should “wait and see”

BMJ 2002; 324 doi: (Published 18 May 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;324:1175
  1. Scott Gottlieb
  1. New York

    Two new studies suggest that patients with small abdominal aortic aneurysms are safer adopting a wait and see approach rather than having immediate surgery to repair the weakened vessel.

    The two new studies—one British, one American—find that male patients with aneurysms less than 5.5 cm in diameter are likely to live just as long if they delay surgical repair.

    Delaying surgery postpones the risks associated with a complicated procedure and lets patients take advantage of future technological improvements, which might make surgery a little easier, according to the lead author of one of the studies, Dr Frank Lederle of the Veterans Affairs Medical Centers in Minneapolis, Minnesota (N Engl J Med 2002;346:1437-44).

    In the study by Dr Lederle, researchers randomly …

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