An aortic aneurysm is a bulge that shows up in the wall of the major blood vessel that carries blood away from the heart and to the body. They can occur anywhere in the aorta and can have various shapes and sizes. This can lead to aortic dissection and increase a patient’s risk of an aortic burst. Certain things can put a person more at risk to suffer an aortic aneurysm. Just because a person suffers from these health problems or symptoms doesn’t mean they have or will have an aortic aneurysm, but it means their risk for one is higher. Those risk factors include

  • Diabetes
  • Blood pressure issues
  • Male sex
  • Smoking
  • Marfan syndrome
  • Family history of aortic aneurysm
  • Hardening of the arteries

Symptoms of aortic aneurysm

Aortic aneurysms have no symptoms until they become very large and rupture. In fact, when aortic aneurysms are found before they rupture; it is usually an accident and during a regular medical exam. Some of the common symptoms of a large or ruptures aortic aneurysm include:

  • Pressure in chest and back
  • Chest pain
  • Fast heart rate
  • Dizziness
  • Rapid breathing
  • A feeling of fullness after small meals

Causes of aortic aneurysm

The cause of aortic aneurysms is caused by a thinning of the aortic wall. The weakness may be caused by an injury, or the patient may be born with it. Certain things can also contribute to the weakness of the aortic wall and these include:

  • Atherosclerosis
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Cystic medial necrosis
  • Mycotic aneurysm
  • Inflammatory aneurysm
  • Injury

How aortic aneurysm is diagnosed?

Aortic aneurysms are usually only diagnosed after they have ruptured or become severe. Sometimes they are found while doctors are testing patients for other health problems. They will consider the patient’s symptoms, and if they are concerned that the person may have an aortic aneurysm, they will do tests to confirm the diagnosis. Some common diagnostic tests include:

  • Ultrasound
  • X-ray
  • MRI
  • CT scan
  • Aortography

Aortic Aneurysm treatments

An aortic aneurysm is considered a medical emergency and requires immediate medical care. If the aneurysm is caught before it bursts, surgery may be able to correct the problem. Once a patient has had one aortic aneurysm, they are at risk for more. Patients are monitored by doctors in case another occurs. If an aortic aneurysm has already burst, doctors will work to stop the bleeding and leaking with emergency surgery. If the surgery is successful, patients will stay in the hospital where they will be monitored and may receive various medications to help prevent future aneurysms.