Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm – Heart Clinic in Houston

Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm – Heart Clinic in Houston

Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm involves a widening, stretching or ballooning of the aorta that is within the abdomen. Aneurysm will grow larger and eventually rupture if it is not diagnosed or treated. The heart pumps blood in to a large artery known as the Aorta. It descends from heart to supply blood to all the parts of the body.

Risk Factors

  • Smoking
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Male gender
  • Emphysema
  • Family history
  • Obesity

Symptoms

In most cases, an UN-ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) will cause no symptoms, unless it becomes particularly large.

Symptoms of an UN-ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm may include:

  • A pulsating feeling in your stomach (abdomen), usually near your belly button, that’s usually only noticeable when you touch it
  • Persistent back pain
  • Persistent abdominal pain

Other Symptoms Include:

  • Dizziness
  • Sweaty and clammy skin
  • Rapid heartbeat (tachycardia)
  • Shortness of breath
  • Feeling faint
  • Loss of consciousness

Diagnosing Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm:

Your doctor will examine your abdomen. The exam also will include an evaluation of pulses and feeling in your legs. The doctor may find:

  • A mass in the abdomen
  • Pulsating sensation in the abdomen
  • Stiff or rigid abdomen

You may have an abdominal aortic aneurysm that is not causing any symptoms or problems. Your doctor may find this problem by doing a CT scan or ultrasound of the abdomen. Either of these tests may be done when you’re having symptoms.

Two Approaches of Surgery:

In a traditional (open) repair, a large cut is made in your abdomen. The abnormal vessel is replaced with a graft made of man-made material, such as Dacron.

The other approach is called endovascular stent grafting. This procedure can be done without making a large cut in your abdomen, so you may get well faster. If you have other medical problems, this may be a safer approach.

The outcome is usually good if an experienced surgeon repairs the aneurysm before it ruptures. However, less than 80% of patients survive a ruptured abdominal aneurysm.

Prevention

Eat a heart-healthy diet, exercise, stop smoking (if you smoke), and reduce stress to help lower your chances of having a blocked artery again.

Cardiology Doctor in Houston gives you medicine to help lower your cholesterol.

If you were given medicines for blood pressure or diabetes, take them as we asked you to.

People over age 65 who have smoked at any time in their life should have a screening ultrasound performed once.

There are many effective treatments for abdominal aortic aneurysms, which are based on the size of your aneurysm and how fast it’s growing.

Treatment of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm:

If you have bleeding inside your body from an aortic aneurysm, you will have open abdominal aortic aneurysm repair.

If the aneurysm is small and there are no symptoms, your doctor may recommend checking the size of the aneurysm with ultrasound tests every 6-12 months, to see if the aneurysm is getting bigger.

Surgery is usually recommended for patients who have aneurysms bigger than 2 inches (5.5 cm) across and aneurysms that are growing quickly. The goal is to perform surgery before complications or symptoms develop.

An abdominal aortic aneurysm, also called AAA or triple A, is a bulging, weakened area in the wall of the aorta (the largest artery in the body) resulting in an abnormal widening or ballooning greater than 50 percent of the vessel’s normal diameter (width).

Seek counsel from our Cardiology Doctors in Houston if you suspect you are suffering from Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm for the best treatment options for you.

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