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Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm

Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm

What you need to know about
Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm

The aorta is the human body’s major blood vessel. It transports blood from your heart to your head, arms, and abdomen, legs, and pelvis. If the walls of the aorta become weak, they can inflate or bulge out like a balloon. When an aortic aneurysm occurs in the section of the aorta that runs through your belly, it’s known as an abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA).
Although AAAs may not always cause difficulties, a ruptured aneurysm can be fatal. If you’ve been diagnosed with an aneurysm, your doctor will most likely want to keep a tight eye on you, even if they don’t intervene immediately away.

Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm

What are the signs and symptoms of an aortic aneurysm in the abdomen?

Unless they rupture, most aneurysms cause no symptoms. If a AAA ruptures, you may have one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Sharp discomfort in your stomach or back
  • Pain in your pelvis, legs, or buttocks that spreads from your belly or back
  • Skin that is sweaty or clammy
  • A faster heartbeat
  • Shock or unconsciousness are both possible outcomes.

If you encounter any of these symptoms, call your doctor right once. An aneurysm that has ruptured can be fatal.

An abdominal aortic aneurysm diagnosis

AAAs that haven’t ruptured are usually discovered via a scan or examination of your abdomen for another cause.

If your doctor suspects you have one, they will press their fingers against your stomach to examine if it is stiff or includes a pulsing lump. They may also diagnose one for the purpose of screening. They may also do one of the following tests or monitor the blood flow in your legs:

  • An abdominal CT scan is performed.
  • Ultrasound of the abdomen
  • X-ray of the chest
  • MRI of the abdomen

What is the causes of abdominal aortic aneurysm?

The cause of AAAs is unknown at this time. Certain circumstances, however, have been linked to an increased risk of them. They are as follows:

Smoking

Smoking causes direct damage to the walls of your arteries, increasing the likelihood of them bulging. It can also make you more susceptible to high blood pressure.

hypertension (High blood pressure)

The level of pressure on the walls of your blood vessels is referred to as blood pressure. The walls of your aorta might be weakened by high blood pressure. An aneurysm is more likely to form as a result of this.

vasculitis (Vascular inflammation)

AAAs can be caused by severe inflammation in the aorta and other arteries, but this is a rare occurrence.

Any blood artery in your body might develop aneurysms. AAAs, on the other hand, are particularly dangerous because of the aorta’s size.

 

What varieties of abdominal aortic aneurysms are there?

What Does My Cough Type Indicate?

AAAs are often classed based on their size and rate of growth. These two factors can aid in predicting the aneurysm’s health repercussions.

AAAs that are small – (less than 5.5 cm) or slow-growing have a lower risk of rupture than those that are larger or expand faster. Doctors frequently believe that monitoring them with regular abdominal ultrasounds is preferable to treating them.

AAAs that are large – (more than 5.5 cm) or growing quickly are far more prone to rupture than those that are tiny or slow-growing. Internal bleeding and other catastrophic problems can result from a rupture. The greater the aneurysm, the more likely it is that surgery will be required to treat it. If these types of aneurysms are causing symptoms or leaking blood, they must be treated.

Who’s at risk?

AAAs are more likely to occur if you do the following:

  • Are a men
  • Are obese or are overweight
  • You are over the age of 60
  • Have a history of heart disease and aneurysms in your family
  • Have high blood pressure, especially if you’re between 35 and 60 years old
  • Have high cholesterol or fatty buildup in the blood vessels (atherosclerosis)
  • A sedentary way of life
  • If you’ve suffered an abdominal injury or other harm to your midsection
  • If you smoke

Treatment

Treatment for an abdominal aortic aneurysm varies depending on the size, specific location, growth rate, and kind of aneurysm, as well as your overall health.

Among the treatment options available are:

Abdominal surgery with an open incision. The purpose of this treatment is to remove diseased aorta sections. It’s a more invasive procedure with a longer recovery time, but it may be essential if your aneurysm is huge or has ruptured.

Endovascular surgery is a type of surgery that focuses on the blood vessels This procedure is less invasive than open abdominal surgery. It entails using a graft to strengthen your aorta’s weakening walls.

Monitoring. Your doctor may elect to monitor a tiny AAA that is less than 5.5 centimetres wide with imaging instead of undergoing surgery if it is less than 5.5 centimetres broad.

What is the long-term outlook?

It could take up to 6 weeks to recuperate from open abdominal surgery if your doctor prescribes it. Endovascular surgery takes only two weeks to recover from.

The effectiveness of surgery and rehabilitation is highly dependent on locating the AAA before it ruptures. If the AAA is discovered before it ruptures, the prognosis is usually good.

Complications

An abdominal aortic aneurysm can lead to a number of significant or even life-threatening consequences.

An abdominal aortic aneurysm may cause the following complications:

  • Aortic dissection is a tear in the aorta’s inner layer.
  • Blood clots that could break free and prevent blood flow to other regions of the body
  • Internal bleeding may result from the rupture of an aortic aneurysm.

If you have symptoms such as low blood pressure, difficulty breathing, an elevated heart rate pulse, or sudden, strong back or stomach discomfort, seek medical help right away.

What can be done to avoid an abdominal aortic aneurysm?

An AAA can be avoided by focusing on heart health. This entails keeping a close eye on what you eat, exercising regularly, and avoiding other cardiovascular risk factors like smoking. Your doctor may also recommend medications to help you manage your diabetes or treat high blood pressure or cholesterol.

If you’re at a higher risk due to smoking or other circumstances, your doctor may want to check you for a AAA when you turn 65. An abdominal ultrasound is used to scan your aorta for bulges during the screening procedure. It’s a quick and painless screening tool.