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Aortic aneurysm

Aortic aneurysm Definition

Aortic aneurysm is a general term referring to the swelling of the aorta, usually caused by an underlying weakness in the aorta's wall. Although stretched vessels may only cause discomfort, aortic aneurysm may result in rupture, which causes massive internal hemorrhage, severe pain and a quick death if not treated promptly.

Aortic aneurysm Prevention

Men over 65 years old are prone to this disease. To reduce the risk of aortic aneurysm, the patient should control blood pressure, stop smoking and reduce cholesterol levels.

Aortic aneurysm Symptoms and Signs

If aortic aneurysms are still intact, they don't produce symptoms. However, as these aneurysms enlarge, back pain and abdominal pain may develop. Others experience compression of the nerve roots, which lead to leg numbness or pain. If left untreated, Aortic aneurysm could become progressively larger. However, the rate of enlargement may vary between patients. In rare cases, blood clots that line the aortic aneurysm could break off and lead to an embolus. To confirm Aortic aneurysm, medical imaging and physical examination is necessary.

Aortic aneurysm Treatment

Treatment of an aortic aneurysm involves control of blood pressure. Although controlling blood pressure does not cure Aortic aneurysm, it could control hypertension and reduce the rate of aneurysm growth. The most effective treatment of Aortic aneurysm is surgical repair of the aorta. This process involves opening of the dilated part of the aorta and insertion of a synthetic patch tube, which is sewn into the distal and proximal parts of the aorta. If a patient has a quick expanding aneurysm, immediate operation is require to prevent the chances of rupture. Slow expanding aneurysm may need routine diagnostic testing. The current treatment available for abdominal aortic aneurysm is elective surgical repair only when the aneurysm's diameter is larger than 5 cm. The endovascular treatment for abdominal aortic aneurysm involves placing an endovascular stent using a percutaneous method (via the femoral arteries) into the affected part of the aorta.

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