Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm
The aorta is the largest artery in the body. It runs through the chest
cavity (where it is called the thoracic aorta), all the way down through
the abdomen (where it is called the abdominal aorta). The abdominal aorta
supplies oxygen-rich blood to the lower part of the body.
If the walls of the aortic become weak or injured, the artery may not be
able to handle the normal force of blood pressing against it. This may
result in a balloon-like bulge in the artery, known as an Abdominal Aortic
AAAs are a health risk because they can burst or rupture. A ruptured aneurysm
can cause severe internal bleeding, which can lead to shock or even death.
Fortunately, especially when diagnosed early before it causes symptoms,
an AAA can be effectively treated, or even cured, with the latest
innovative treatment options.
Symptoms & Risk Factors
Most people are unaware that they have an aortic aneurysm because in most
cases, there are no symptoms. However, as an aneurysm grows, symptoms
- A pulsing feeling in your abdomen, similar to a heartbeat
- Severe, sudden pain in your abdomen or lower back. If this is the case,
your aneurysm may be about to burst
- On rare occasions, your feet may develop pain, discoloration, or sores
on the toes or feet
A ruptured aneurysm usually produces sudden, severe pain and other symptoms
such as loss of consciousness or shock, depending on the location of the
aneurysm and the amount of bleeding. A ruptured aneurysm requires immediate
emergency treatment. This is a life-threatening situation and you should
seek medical attention immediately.
There are certain factors that increase a person’s risk for aortic aneurysm:
- Heredity (family history of aneurysm)
- Congenital defects
- Certain Injuries & Infection s
- High cholesterol and/or High blood pressure (hypertension)
If you have any of the above risk factors, it’s important to speak
with your physician about whether you should be screened for AAA.
Screening & Diagnosis
If you have any symptoms or risk factors of aortic aneurysm, it’s
important to see a cardiologist who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment
of vascular disease, such as the experts at the
Jeffrey M. Carlton Heart & Vascular Institute.
At Hoag, our multidisciplinary team of cardiovascular experts specializes
in vascular disease with the latest technologies available to accurately
diagnose and treat the full spectrum of vascular disorders and other cardiovascular
problems. Learn more about the
ground-breaking imaging technologies available at Hoag.
Find out if you qualify for a free abdominal
ultrasound AAA screening.
As a recognized leader in state-of-the-art vascular disease care, Hoag’s
multidisciplinary team of cardiovascular experts provides the most advanced
vascular disease treatment options available with clinical outcomes that
rival national figures. Learn more about innovative
minimally invasive treatment options available at Hoag, including ground-breaking hybrid procedures.
Experience You Can Trust
Hoag’s cardiovascular surgeons are among the highest-volume surgeons
in Southern California. They are both highly experienced and highly skilled
in the latest techniques and procedures for treating aortic aneurysm,
as well as dedicated to providing the most advanced patient-centered care.
Learn more about the Jeffrey M. Carlton Heart & Vascular Institute's
top rated vascular disease program: