What is an Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm?
If your cardiologist diagnoses you with an aneurysm, it means that part of a blood vessel has become weak and has developed a bulge. An abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) develops in the aorta, which is your largest blood vessel. Your aorta extends from your heart to your lower abdomen. At your lower abdomen, it separates into two blood vessels that extend down the legs. AAA is a potentially life-threatening condition; if the aneurysm ruptures, it can cause death. Work with your heart doctor to learn more about your condition and your treatment options.
Many people with AAA do not experience symptoms for quite some time. When symptoms do occur, they can include back pain, groin pain, or stomach pain. If the aneurysm ruptures, you’ll need emergency medical treatment from a cardiologist. Symptoms of a rupture include clammy skin, sudden and severe pain, dizziness, shock, rapid heartbeat, and nausea.
Most abdominal aortic aneurysms are caused by atherosclerosis, which is a condition in which plaque builds up on the walls of your arteries. Plaque buildup weakens the blood vessels, making them more likely to bulge. Certain people may be at a higher risk of AAA than others, particularly if they smoke, have high blood pressure, or have high cholesterol. Being obese and having a family history of aneurysms can also increase the risk.
Your cardiologist may recommend monitoring if your aneurysm is small and does not cause symptoms, and you are otherwise in good health. If your aneurysm is large and you do experience symptoms, you may need surgery.
Cardiac Solutions provides advanced treatment options for patients with an abdominal aortic aneurysm and other cardiovascular conditions. Residents of Phoenix and the surrounding areas are invited to schedule a consultation with a heart doctor. You can connect with us by calling (623) 208-5305 or visiting us on the Web.