Abdominal aneurysm

An abdominal aortic aneurysm happens when an area of your aorta becomes very large or balloons out. Your aorta is the main blood vessel that supplies blood to your abdomen, pelvis, and legs.

Cause

The exact causes of an abdominal aneurysm are not known. The only thing that is definite is that it happens when there is weakness in the wall of your artery.

Risk Factors 

If the following factors apply to you, you may have an increased risk of developing an abdominal aneurysm:

Abdominal aneurysms are most often seen in males who are over the age of sixty and identify with one or more risk factors linked to abdominal aneurysms. The larger your aneurysm is, the more likely it is to tear or break open. If this happens, it can be life-threatening and is considered an emergency medical situation.

abdominal aneurysm md top10mdSymptoms

Because aneurysms can develop very slowly over many years, and often with no symptoms, your may experience abrupt symptoms that come on quickly, especially if an aneurysm expands rapidly, leaks blood within the wall of the vessel, or tears open. The following symptoms may indicate a ruptured aneurysm:

Diagnosis

Your doctor will examine your abdomen and check the pulses in your legs. They will be looking to see if you have a lump/mass in your abdomen or a stiff or rigid abdomen. They will also try to and feel if there a pulsating sensation in your abdomen.

Treatment

If your aneurysm is small and you aren’t experiencing any symptoms, surgery is rarely performed. You and your doctor will have to compare and weigh two risks: the risk of having surgery should be smaller than your risk of internal bleeding. From that point forward, your doctor may want to check the size of your aneurysm with ultrasound testing every six months. If you are bleeding internally from an aortic aneurysm, you will need surgery as soon as possible. Most of the time, doctors perform surgery if an aneurysm is bigger than two inches or if it is growing quickly. The goal for this type of disease is to do surgery as soon as you can, well before complications (like blockages and ruptures) develop.

Two types of surgeries are used to treat this condition:

Reduce Your Risk

To reduce your risk of developing an aneurysm, make sure you are eating a heart healthy diet, getting enough exercise, staying away from tobacco products and smoking, and finding ways to reduce your stress levels. If you have diabetes or high blood pressure, take your medicine exactly as your doctor has instructed you to.

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