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Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm

Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Definition

Abdominal aortic aneurysm can be diagnosed on anyone but the most viable candidates are men aged over 60. Couple this range of age with some of the common risk factors and the patient is on his way to developing this condition. This disorder happens when a blood vessel enlarges abnormally or causes a protrusion. The abdominal aorta, which is a huge blood vessel, is the one responsible in supplying blood to the abdomen, the legs and the pelvic area. When this abdominal aortic aneurysm raptures, is truly becomes life-threatening and should be attended to immediately.

Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Risk Factors

Whatever causes abdominal aortic aneurysm is still not known but there are several aspects that can be considered as risk factors, and these are: smoking, a very high cholesterol level, high blood pressure, emphysema, obesity, genetic defects or simply being a male species!

Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Symptoms and Signs

Aneurysms do not develop overnight. In fact, they develop very slowly as the years pass and the terrible thing about it is, it often does not show symptoms. They can also expand rapidly and make openings or tears. When this happens, blood would leak along the vessel walls and this is the time when the symptoms would start to show. Symptoms of vessel rupture include: rigidity of the abdomen, anxiety, severe pain in one's abdomen (it could be a persistent, sudden or constant pain), a feeling of pulsation in the abdomen, the skin feels cold or clammy, vomiting and nausea, the heart rate quickens when the patient attempts to stand; masses in the abdomen, and shock.

Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Testing

A competent physician should examine the abdomen. The primary exam would include evaluation of sensations or pulses on the patient?s legs. These tests could also diagnose abdominal aortic aneurysm: ultrasound of the abdomen; abdominal CT scan; and aortal angiography.

Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Treatment

If the condition just started and there are no symptoms, the physician might advise cyclic evaluation. This could include an annual ultrasound so that the growth of the aneurysm could be observed. To prevent complications on aneurysms that show symptoms, it is best for the patient to undergo surgery. A 5.5 centimeter (or bigger) aneurysm badly needs a surgical procedure. This will hamper any more symptoms from developing. There are two kinds of surgical procedures for aneurysm: the traditional and endovascular stent grafting. The traditional way is to make a cut in the abdomen and the ruptured vessel is then replaced with synthetic material grafting. The second approach involves putting a stent graft in the artery with the use of a catheter. This does not require making a large cut on the abdomen.

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