Aneurysms that occur in arteries other than the aorta and the brain arteries are called peripheral aneurysms. Common locations for peripheral aneurysms include the popliteal, femoral, and carotid arteries. The popliteal arteries run down the back of the thighs, behind the knees. The femoral arteries are the main arteries in the groin. The carotid arteries are the two main arteries on each side of your neck.
A peripheral aneurysm requires surgical repair because of the risk of a sudden blockage or a dislodged clot obstructing blood flow. If the aneurysm is mall and you have no symptoms, your physician will monitor its size to determine when surgery is needed. If a peripheral aneurysm is large, it can press on a nearby nerve or vein and cause pain, numbness, or swelling.
There are generally two types of aneurysm repair surgeries:
- Endovascular repair makes use of a catheter that guides a stent graft through the groin. The graft is inserted into the aneurysm and seals the aneurysm from within.
- Open surgical repair of a peripheral aneurysm may be recommended if the aneurysm anatomy does not allow for endovascular repair. In this procedure, the damaged area is removed and replaced with a graft (tube).