What is an abdominal aneurysm?
An abdominal aneurysm is a widening in a blood vessel. The area will become filled with blood and become balloon like. This will cause the vessel to weaken and once the aneurysm becomes too large it will rupture. The rupture could lead to serious health conditions.
Where is an abdominal aneurysm located?
Abdominal aneurysms are located in the aorta, the largest artery in the body. The artery runs from the chest to the abdomen. It then splits into two separate arteries known as iliac arteries. Abdominal aneurysms can also occur in these arteries, but are less common.
What causes abdominal aneurysms?
Hardening of arteries is usually what causes abdominal aneurysms. This causes the wall of the artery to weaken and become more susceptible to expansion. Genetic problems and existing health problems can also make you more susceptible to abdominal aneurysms. Hypertension and arthritis are common problems that cause them. Also, people that smoke tobacco are more than 50% more susceptible to getting an abdominal aneurysm.
What are the symptoms of abdominal aneurysms?
Many times, abdominal aneurysms show no symptoms. However, there are some symptoms that can be present. These include abdominal and chest pain and palpitations. You may also experience the area pulsating. It the abdominal aneurysm has ruptured, you will likely experience severe pain and possibly shock.
What is the treatment for abdominal aneurysms?
The first thing to help treat the abdominal aneurysm is to stop smoking, if you are currently a smoker. This will help reduce the threat of rupture and prevent more from forming. Getting your blood pressure under control could also help treat abdominal aneurysms. If the rupture has already occurred, you will need to have one of two surgeries. Clipping or coiling are the two options. They both reduce the pressure in the aneurysm and prevent the blood flow into it.
How is an abdominal aneurysm diagnosed?
If you notice any symptoms, you should seek medical attention. The doctor will take some blood tests and will also perform an ultrasound. In some cases, a CATscan will also be needed to detect if the abdominal aneurysm is present.
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