This chapter aims to present the most recent and relevant data for decision making in abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) repair in a comparative and concise format.
After a comparison of the short- and long-term survival data of the randomized trials, the following post-hoc analyses of the four randomized trials will be presented: causes of death, reinterventions, renal function, prediction of complications, and quality of life.
When both open and endovascular repair are a reasonable option for an individual patient, we need to objectively inform our patient about the available evidence from the trials.
The three-fold reduction of operative mortality with endovascular repair as compared to open repair should be presented. Next, the convergence of the overall survival curves should be discussed as a key factor in the decision process.
The counterintuitive observation may be considered that if endovascular repair is better for any specific subgroup it is for younger patients with low surgical risks. Finally, the patient needs to understand that the risks of reintervention and complications are higher after endovascular than after open repair and that this is even more relevant in older patients with larger aneurysms.
The information that the quality of life advantage of endovascular repair is only short lived and for several domains surpassed by open repair is most likely not suitable for direct discussion with the individual patient, but it may put the procedures in the right perspective for the physician and health care managers.