Abdominal aortic aneurysm (widening of the aorta in the abdomen)
What it is You should start by defining the aorta. The aorta is the largest vessel in our body, and therefore its importance is high. An aneurysm is an expansion of a vessel. An aortic aneurysm can form in the thoracic or abdominal regions. Moreover, abdominal aortic aneurysm is much more common. This state of the vessel may not cause any harm for a long time, nevertheless, an aneurysm is very dangerous due to the unpredictable course of expansion and the threat of rupture of the walls of the vessel during their thinning - and this condition already threatens life with severe internal bleeding. In addition, blood clots can form at the site of vessel expansion due to a change in blood flow - the danger of this condition is the risk of a blood clot breaking off and clogging a smaller vessel.
Causes of an aortic aneurysm in the abdominal region
Experts identify several reasons for the formation of an aneurysm of the abdominal aorta:
- heredity (it is worth undergoing additional examinations if one of your close relatives had such a diagnosis);
- trauma or surgery on the aorta;
- atherosclerosis (approx. cop. link to the article);
There are also risk factors for the formation of an aneurysm:
- excess weight,
- high blood pressure,
- Most often, the disease occurs in men over 50 years of age.
Quitting smoking and maintaining a normal weight remain those factors that can be eliminated, protecting yourself from the risk of not only an aneurysm but also other serious diseases.
Symptoms of an abdominal aortic aneurysm
Most often, an aneurysm is accidentally diagnosed during an examination for other reasons of concern. Vessel expansion usually does not manifest itself in any way, but an aneurysm should be ruled out during an examination by a doctor if you experience a dull, aching pain in the chest, under the ribs, or feel a pulsation in the abdomen.
If the aneurysm was not detected on time, then there is a risk of its rupture. This condition is manifested in sharp severe pain in the abdomen, a dramatic drop in blood pressure, and fainting. In such a situation, it is necessary to immediately call an ambulance: aortic rupture is life-threatening.
Due to the absence of vivid symptoms and the gradual expansion of the aorta, most often an aneurysm is suspected by a doctor during an examination for another reason. The diagnosis is confirmed by ultrasound or CT of the abdominal cavity, or angiography - which examination is suitable for a particular patient, the attending physician decides. Examinations will give information about the size of the aneurysm, the presence of a blood clot in this place, and the condition of the walls of the vessel.
In many patients, the revealed expansion of the aorta for a long time does not require surgical intervention by a specialist - the main task will be to observe. In this case, the patient will be given a list of recommendations so as not to aggravate the condition of the vessels (in the first place - quitting smoking, if such an addiction is present), and also offered to undergo periodic examinations to monitor the condition of the aorta. But in any case, the doctor must exclude the risk of aortic rupture at the site of expansion. For this, survey data are used: the width of the aorta and the rate of its expansion in dynamics. If there is a threat of rupture, the doctor may decide to operate, and this will require additional tests of blood, blood vessels, and urine to prepare for the operation.
What's Your Reaction?