The lethal potential of arteriosclerotic aneurysms of the abdominal aorta has been clearly demonstrated. Because of this and the disabling symptomatology often related to the aneurysm, many surgical attacks have been devised. The ideal treatment consists of excision of the aneurysm and restoration of vascular continuity by the insertion of a graft. This form of therapy has been made possible by the pioneering effort of De-Bakey, Cooley, and Creech, and Bahnson and DuBost.1-3 Other forms of therapy have been abandoned in favor of this ideally definitive method.4 A reduction in operative mortality to 5% has followed as greater surgical experience has been acquired.
The detection of an abdominal aneurysm is accomplished during the routine physical examination by simple palpation. With the Patient lying on his back, even the obese abdomen can be accurately assessed as regards the presence of a pulsating mass. As in all things, a high