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Aortic Aneurysm Information

An aortic aneurysm occurs when a portion of the aorta becomes weak and the wall of the aorta bulges. The aneurysm can rupture, causing significant bleeding and threat to life. Since the aorta is the main artery supplying oxygenated blood to the body, a rupture here is very dangerous.

Common Symptoms

Symptoms of an aortic aneurysm are often not present until they have reached a certain size. With an enlarged aneurysm, you might feel tenderness in the abdomen, chest pain, back pain, and unusual sensations in the upper chest, abdomen or back.

Sometimes, an aneurysm occurs that isn't causing symptoms or problems. If an aneurysm grows too large you may undergo an aneurysm repair.

This involves removing the section of the aorta with the aneurysm and using a synthetic tube to replace it.

Without treatment, a large aortic aneurysm can tear of rupture. This is a serious complication. Internal bleeding will occur and blood clots and stroke may result.

Risk Factors & Diagnosis

The factors that increase your risk of developing an aortic aneurysm include smoking, high blood pressure, atherosclerosis and possible genetic factors. The exact cause of aortic aneurysms is not known.

Since the symptoms of an aortic aneurysm are not specific, your doctor might perform an ultrasound to screen for an aneurysm if you are at an increased risk. For instance, if you are a male older than 60 or 65, have smoked in your life, and have a family history of aortic aneurysms.


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