Aortic aneurysm is an abnormal enlargement or bulging of the body’s main blood vessel, the aorta. Aortic aneurysms may lead to serious complications, including rupture, which can be life-threatening if not discovered early.
Risk factors for aortic aneurisms include male gender, age 60 and over, history of smoking, history of aneurysms in other family members.
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Most people with aortic aneurisms do not have symptoms. They are usually discovered by doing a screening ultrasound
Symptoms may include pain in the chest or abdomen.
Some patients notice a pulsation in the upper part of their abdomen.
If aneurysms rupture, they are usually very painful and are considered a medical emergency.
Treatment depends on the size of the aneurysm.
If the aneurysm is less than 5 cm (or 2 inches) and not growing rapidly, your doctor will probably recommend a repeat ultrasound every 6 to 12 months.
If the aneurysm is 5.5 cm or larger, surgery to repair the aneurysm is generally recommended because there is higher risk for rupture.
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