CardioSpecialists Group, Ltd.
About Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm

What Is an Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm ?

The aorta is the main artery that travels from the heart to the rest of the body along the spine, but problems can occur, often without symptoms. One such condition is abdominal aortic aneurysm. This happens when a part of the aorta that runs behind the gut has a weakness in its walls and the aorta expands at that site. The expansion is called the aneurysm.

Inside the aortic aneurysm, plaque can build up on the inside of the walls. This plaque is deposited from excess cholesterol in the blood. Near the plaque deposit, a blood cells can clot together and stick to the plaque lining the walls of the aneurysm. This blood clot can cause the aneurysm to grow and expand. If it expands too much, like a balloon, it can burst. If this happens, it can be a life-threatening event which needs immediate medical attention. The bleeding from a ruptured aortic aneurysm can be fatal.

What Are the Symptoms?

Most often, there are no symptoms experienced with abdominal aortic aneurysm. Your doctor might spot it during a routine physical or for a visit for an unrelated condition.

How is Triple A Diagnosed?

If your doctor suspects an aneurysm, he will want to run tests to get an image of your aorta. These same tests will need to be repeated periodically to ensure that the aneurysm is not growing. Tests run include CT scans, ultrasound, MRIs, arterial doppler study, or arteriography.

What Is the Treatment?

For small aneurysms, your doctor will closely monitor your blood vessels with the same tests he used to diagnose the condition. If your aortic aneurysm continues to grow in size, it will require surgery to repair it and to prevent rupture.

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