Your heart is the most important muscle in your body, pumping hundreds of thousands of gallons of blood over the course of your lifetime. Basically, it’s a workhorse and the aorta is the largest blood vessel in the entire body. Its job is to carry blood away from your heart to the rest of your body.
Although aortas are typically strong and durable, sometimes the walls can weaken and bulge, resulting in what is called an aneurysm. If this occurs in the abdominal aorta, the large artery that travels from the heart to the chest and abdomen, it is called an abdominal aortic aneurysm. An abdominal aortic aneurysm can be a life-threatening event requiring emergency surgery. Let’s talk more about this serious condition.
Who is Most at Risk for Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm?
While the exact cause of an aortic aneurysm is a bit of a mystery, there are a number of risk factors, including:
- Being male (men have five times the risk of women)
- Being over the age of 60
- Tobacco use
- Family history
- Personal history of heart disease or peripheral artery disease (PAD)
- High blood pressure
- Infection or inflammation of the aorta
If you have several of these risk factors, consider undergoing an ultrasound screening exam to evaluate your risk for the condition.
What are the Symptoms of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm?
The most common symptoms are a pulsing sensation in the abdominal area, abdominal tenderness and back pain. However, many people may not notice any symptoms until the condition is advanced and the aneurysm ruptures.
How are Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms Treated?
An abdominal aortic aneurysm will not improve over time, but if yours is small, your doctor may opt to watch it with routine checkups. If an aneurysm is larger than two inches, is causing symptoms, is leaking fluid or has expanded over time, it requires medical intervention.
At Lam Vascular & Associates, we have deep experience in the treatment of abdominal aortic aneurysms. Although traditional open abdominal vascular surgery is an option and enjoys a high success rate, the recovery is long and a hospital stay is required. When it makes sense, we prefer a less invasive method that accomplishes the same repair.
Endovascular Stent Graft
This is a minimally invasive procedure where I make a tiny incision in the groin area and insert a narrow catheter in the artery. A small graft is attached to the end of the catheter and guided to the aneurysm site. The graft is permanently attached to the vessel walls to take the place of the damaged abdominal aorta.
Discover the Lam Vascular & Associates Difference
If you experience any of the above symptoms or suspect you may have this condition, it is wise to see a doctor who specializes in vascular medicine. At Lam Vascular & Associates, we lead the way in state-of-the-art vascular technology.
At Lam Vascular & Associates, located in Dallas and Rockwall, our goal with every patient is to alleviate pain and restore vascular health. Your Next Step Matters. Schedule an appointment today.