Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm

Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA) is a medical condition in which aorta becomes enlarged at the lower area. Aorta is the main blood vessel which is responsible for blood supply throughout the whole body. Hence any defect in the blood supply via aorta can lead to serious problems. Abdominal aortic aneurysm is common problem. It can cause bleeding inside the body and sometimes if becomes very large can burst as well that would be emergency condition. Its asymptomatic but some common symptoms are given here. Besides Tests and management of this condition is also mentioned in this article.

Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm

AAA Sign & Symptoms

Usually Abnormal Aortic Aneurysm is asymptomatic and it cannot be diagnosed at early stages. It can be only diagnosed when it is ruptured or it is expanded and it shows the following symptoms like

  • Persistent or sudden pain in lower back
  • Pain in groin areas, flank or abdominal areas
  • Another chief complaint is Syncope
  • Increased Heart Rate
  • Dizziness
  • Shock

Causes of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm

Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm does not have any well defined cause. Additionally the severity of abdominal aortic aneurysm depends on size of aneurysm; larger aneurysms are at greater risk of breakage. This condition usually caused due to artery wall weakness. Exact reason behind this weakness of artery walls is not well known. However, there can be some triggering factors which can lead to this condition like:

  • Smokers are at greater risk
  • Hypertension causes artery wall weakness and ultimately AAA
  • Males are at greater risk for catching such condition
  • Genetic factors are also involved sometimes.

To avoid this condition develop habit of healthy eating and avoid smoking and other risk factors contributing towards abdominal aortic aneurysm. Keep your blood pressure maintained in normal ranges.

Diagnostic Tests for Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm

Physician will check the patient for pulses in abdominal area or legs and observe patient to locate any lump or rigid areas in abdominal region. For the confirmation of AAA physician can recommend following diagnostic tests like;

  • CT scan of abdominal area that will tell about aneurysm size
  • Abdominal ultrasound to check aneurysm presence
  • Computed Tomography angiogram (CTA) before surgery

These tests will help for proper diagnosis of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm

Management of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm

If the aneurysm is small like less than 2 inches, surgery won’t be done instead preferred management would be done via medication while for the aneurysms greater than 2 inches, best treatment is surgery.

In case of larger of ballooned aorta, breakage or tearing of aneurysm occur and cause bleeding inside body. In such condition patient would be immediately referred for surgery. Open repair surgery or endovascular stent grafting surgery are mostly done. In the former, large cuts are done in the abdomen area while in later large cuts are not needed and recovery rate is quick. Surgery if done before rupture is best way to avoid complications.