According to the Society for Vascular Surgery, over 200,000 Americans experience Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms annually. It is the 15th leading cause of death in the U.S., 10th among men.
What are the risk factors?
Risk factors include:
What is an Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm?
An Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm happens when an artery degenerates and starts to fall apart and expand, like a tire with a bubble in it. Elastin in our arteries can wear out. We aim to catch this before it ruptures or pops. Outside of the brain, a common location is in the abdomen, just above where the aorta splits into two. Here, the aorta can grow and potentially rupture.
What are the symptoms?
There might not be any symptoms at all. There could also be sudden and severe pain in your abdomen or back. Less common symptoms include skin discoloration and sores on the feet. These sores are signs of a blood clot or vascular disease.
What is the treatment?
The treatment used to involve a massive operation, opening patients up from stem to stern and requiring a week in the hospital. Today, small incisions in the leg arteries guided by X-ray technology fix nearly 90% of aneurysms. These arteries are the on-ramp to the freeway that is your aorta. We insert devices that are akin to patching a tire instead of replacing it. It requires an overnight stay in the hospital.
If you have risk factors for an Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm, please call to set up a health screen.