A Guide to Understanding Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm

Blog Post
By South Valley Vascular
March 5, 2024

An aneurysm is a potentially fatal health condition that occurs when an artery wall becomes weak. This can cause an artery to rupture over time, leading to massive internal bleeding. An abdominal aortic aneurysm is an aneurysm that occurs in the largest blood vessel in the body (the abdominal aorta). Only about 25% of people survive a rupture of the abdominal aorta. 

This article will explain common symptoms and treatments for an abdominal aortic aneurysm.

Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Symptoms 

Unfortunately, abdominal aortic aneurysms are considered a mystery to many health experts. Over the years, it has become known as a “silent” killer. This is due to the lack of obvious symptoms. 

Evidence has shown that men over the age of 65 are most likely to have an abdominal aortic aneurysm. Women are six times less likely to experience an abdominal aortic aneurysm than men. While abdominal aortic aneurysms are extremely dangerous if ruptured, many people go their entire lives without any signs or issues. 

Studies have shown that smokers and those with high blood pressure are more likely to develop an abdominal aortic aneurysm. Three out of four adults that are diagnosed have no symptoms at all. However, diagnosed individuals who experience symptoms should contact their doctor immediately. 

Those who show abdominal aortic aneurysm symptoms usually experience the following:

  • Consistent back, groin, leg, and buttock pain 
  • Abdominal pain that may be consistent or come and go
  • A feeling of pulsing in the abdomen that becomes particularly noticeable when touched

Most patients don’t make it to a hospital in time if a rupture occurs. That’s why it’s important to remain aware of symptoms after a diagnosis. Signs of a rupture include the following symptoms:

  • Persistent sweating
  • Clamming hands and skin
  • Dizziness
  • A drop in blood pressure
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sudden nausea and/or vomiting
  • An increased heart rate 
  • Severe abdominal pain

Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Treatment

Since symptoms are often subtle or non-existent, it can be difficult to diagnose an abdominal aortic aneurysm. In many cases, an aneurysm may be suspected by a doctor who notices an issue during a physical examination. From there, they may request an ultrasound that may capture an image of it. 

Nearly half of those diagnosed with an abdominal aortic aneurysm will experience a rupture if undiscovered and treated. Abdominal aortic aneurysm treatment includes the following.

Non-Surgical Options

Once diagnosed, an abdominal aortic aneurysm must be monitored closely over an extended period of time. Lifestyle changes may keep it from growing if it is considered a low-risk aneurysm (less than 2 inches in size). Quitting smoking, exercising regularly, and developing healthy eating habits may be enough to keep an abdominal aortic aneurysm from rupturing over time. 

Surgical Options

Individuals with high-risk abdominal aortic aneurysms may require surgery to prevent a rupture and mitigate the symptoms. Endovascular surgery can redirect blood flow, relieving pressure on the weaker blood vessels. It is considered to be minimally invasive. It is known to limit GI and wounding complications and increase the survival rate. 

Treat Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms At South Valley Vascular Today

Are you exhibiting symptoms of an abdominal aortic aneurysm? Do you want to speak directly with a highly-trained medical professional? If so, South Valley Vascular is here for you!

At South Valley Vascular, our medical team will help you treat the symptoms of an abdominal aortic aneurysm. Unfortunately, an abdominal aortic aneurysm may show very few visible symptoms. That’s why meeting with a doctor at the first sign is so important. At South Valley Vascular, we will diagnose and treat your health condition ASAP.

Are you ready to get started? Contact South Valley Vascular today!