The aorta vessel leads straight out of the heart and supplies the body with blood. Therefore, if its structure is compromised via an aortic aneurysm, it must be detected and repaired.
However, the health of your aorta can be determined through simple and routine screenings. In fact, Medicare will cover a one-time screening for patients with a family history of abdominal aortic aneurysm, as well as men age 65-75 who have smoked at least 100 cigarettes in their lifetime.
What is an abdominal aortic aneurysm?
An abdominal aortic aneurysm (sometimes referred to as AAA) occurs when the section of the aorta that travels through the abdomen/near the stomach becomes weakened and begins to expand outward – much like a balloon.
The longer the aneurysm continues or the bigger it gets, the bigger the risk of a rupture, which could cause life threatening bleeding. While a small AAA may only require regular monitoring, larger an abdominal aortic aneurysms require intervention in the form of surgery.
What are abdominal aortic aneurysm symptoms?
Generally, abdominal aortic aneurysms are small, slow growing and offer no outwardly visible signs or symptoms, which is why you should undergo periodic screenings.
Patients sometimes complain of back pain, chest and abdominal tenderness, and a pulsating feeling in the abdomen.
If you notice any of these symptoms – especially sudden, severe pain in these areas – and suspect you’re experiencing stomach aneurysm symptoms, please seek immediate medical assistance.
What causes abdominal aortic aneurysm?
Men have a higher risk than women for developing these aneurysms. Other risk factors include age, high blood pressure, family history and especially tobacco use. Caucasians have a higher risk factor as well.
How do we treat abdominal aortic aneurysm?
If surgical treatment is recommended, there are two options:
A less invasive option in which a catheter is threaded through the leg, and a graft is put into place to reinforce the aorta. The surgeons at Longstreet Clinic Vascular & Vein prefer the endovascular approach whenever possible.
Open Surgical Repair
The damaged part of the aorta is removed and replaced with a graft.
The fellowship-trained surgeons at Longstreet Clinic Vascular & Vein are specially trained to diagnose and treat diseases of the vascular system (arteries and veins). If surgery is the best option to treat your condition, you can be assured our physicians are highly accomplished and qualified.
Contact us today take advantage of preventative screening, especially if you qualify for the free Medicare screening. Our staff utilizes state-of-the-art diagnostic techniques and surgical procedures. If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, contact us or please call Longstreet Clinic Vascular & Vein at 678-207-4000.