WHAT IS AN ABDOMINAL AORTIC ANEURYSM?
abdominal aortic artery (AAA) is a large artery that extends from the
breast bone to the navel (umbilicus) where it splits into the iliac
arteries that supply blood to your lower extremities (legs). The
arorta has many branches that supply blood to the major organs of the
Abdominal aortic aneurysm is a bulge in the
artery wall. This is a serious condition that can have grave
consequences. Early detection and treatment before the aneurysm
ruptures is essential. Most AAA's are located below the
arteries that go to the kidneys (renal arteries). At least 66
percent of AAA's extend to one or both of the iliac arteries.
The normal size for an aorta is less than 3cm. When the aorta is enlarged to 3cm or larger, an aneurysm is suspected.
Aneurysms under 5cm wide usually do not rupture. When an aneurysm
reaches 6cm or higher, rupture is more likely. The only way to monitor
the aneurysm is by regular careful screening.
THERE ARE TWO TYPES OF ABDOMINAL AORTIC ANEURYSMS?
is the most common AAA. It is an eliptical or spindle shaped
enlargement of the vessel lumen (inside wall of the artery) that
results from processes that weaken the wall of the aorta.
Saccular aneurysm is an enlargement that resembles a sac-like bulging on one side of the artery.
NORMAL ABDOMINAL AORTA
ABDOMINAL AORTIC ANEURYSM
WHO IS MOST AFFECTED BY ABDOMINAL AORTIC ANEYRYSM?
Adults of both sexes
Men are five times more likely to be affected by AAA than women.
Contrary to common thought, AAA's are NOT rare. About 5 percent of men over the age of 60 will develop one.
WHAT IS THE CAUSE OF ABDOMINAL AORTIC ANEURYSMS?
majority of AAA's, approximately 80 percent, are caused by atherosclerosis
(hardening of the arteries). Plaque build-up can weaken the wall
of the aorta. As blood flows through the aorta, the pressure of
the blood against the weakened wall causes a ballooning effect.
|WHAT ARE THE WARNING SIGNS & SYMPTOMS OF AN ABDOMINAL AORTIC ANEURYSM?|
There are often NO warnings or symptoms prior to a rupture! This why screening is so important!
back pain (sometimes very severe). You do NOT want to wait until
this symptom occurs. Rupture could be imminent!
- Loss of appetite.
- Pulsating mass in the abdomen.
Only 32 % of patients survive emergency surgery to repair a ruptured AAA!
ARE YOU AT RISK FOR AN ABDOMINAL AORTIC ANEURYSM?
HOW DO I KNOW IF I HAVE AN ABDOMINAL AORTIC ANEURYSM?
is a fast and highly accurate method to detect and measure an aneurysm.
Early detection is the best way to avoid a devastating rupture. You
DO NOT want to wait until your aneurysm ruptures. Half of all
people with an aneurysm will die within 5 years if not treated!
Ruptured abdominal aneurysms are the thirteenth cause of death in
America. This is a tragedy, since it is so easy and inexpensive
to screen for.A
ruptured AAA causes immense bleeding which leads to shock and then
death. Early screening can discover aneurysms when they are
small. By carefully monitoring an aneurysm, your doctor can
determine what course of action is best.
TREATMENT FOR ABDOMINAL AORTIC ANEURYSM
an abdominal aortic aneurysm is discovered, and surgery is indicated, surgeons will replace the diseased vessel with a
synthetic graft (Dacron). More recently, new minimally invasive
procedures use methods similar to angioplasty to guide stents into
place. These procedures are much easier to tolerate than the
traditional open abdomnal surgery.
FAMOUS PEOPLE WHO HAVE DIED
FROM AN ABDOMINAL AORTIC ANEURYSM:
Lucille BallAlbert EinsteinGeorge C. ScottConway Twitty