Decision about AAA surgery


New member
Jun 11, 2024
Hi, I'm involved in the care of my grandad (69, diagnosed with late stage mixed dementia and Alzheimer's) along with my nan and we are having issues deciding if we should go forward with abdominal aortic aneurysm surgery to prevent rupture.
Grandad was diagnosed with AAA 2 years ago, its large and until his dementia got worse we understood that he would have surgery when it reached this stage. His current dementia symptoms mainly affect his memory, he can eat, dress and walk the dog but is very irritable, aggressive and forgetful. Now the doctor is saying he is reluctant to operate due to the effect of anaesthetic on people with dementia, but its ultimately our decision.
Does anyone have any advice/hopeful stories of people who have made either decision? We're trying to find what the chances are of the surgery causing a decline in Grandad's situation.
We are leaning towards not doing surgery due to quality of life, but naturally we are struggling with guilt and 'what ifs'.
My apologies if this post is too long, and thank you for your help!


Volunteer Host
Mar 2, 2017
Hi @BHol and welcome to the Forum. This subject has come up before and it may help to read previous threads:



Volunteer Moderator
Aug 31, 2003
Welcome from me too @BHol.

I’m so sorry to hear about your grandad. It must be such a worry for you and your family. I wondered if this factsheet would be of any help to you -



Registered User
Sep 6, 2017
Please read the links that @northumbrian_k has provided. Read my comments on my mum's outcome after being diagnosed in her early 70's She was operated on at age 78 as an emergency and survived for five or six months after.

I absolutely understand the consultants reluctance to operate and having seen the aftermath of my mum's emergency triple A operation I have decided that at my age of 67 I would not want to go through that if I was diagnosed with the same and I am reasonably fit and healthy. Quality of life is what is important once you get to a certain age. The operation was horrendous and even on younger and otherwise healthy patients is not always successful. My blunt opinion is that for a dementia patient it would be disastrous and I doubt the surgeon would actually do it.

Let the surgeon decide, he knows what he is talking about so don't feel guilty.