What is Aortic aneurysm?
In this condition, aorta is abnormally enlarged predisposing it to rupture and internal bleeding and possibly death.
Aortic aneurysm is an abnormal bulge that occurs in the wall of aorta that carries blood from heart to body. Aortic aneurysms can occur anywhere in the aorta. Abdominal aortic aneurysms often grow slowly and usually without symptoms, making them difficult to detect. Some aneurysms will never rupture. Many start small and stay small, although many expand over time. Others expand quickly.
What are the causes of aortic aneurysm?
What are the symptoms of aortic aneurysm?
- Shortness of breath
- A croaky or raspy voice
- Pain in the left shoulder or between shoulder blades
- Sudden and severe pain
- Sudden stomach pain, lower back pain, or flu-like symptoms
- Pain or tenderness below the stomach
- Weight loss
What are the risk factors of aortic aneurysm?
- High blood pressure
- Sex- Men have about double the incidence of aortic dissection.
- Age- The incidence of aortic dissection peaks in the 60s and 80s
- Deep wounds, injuries, or infections of the blood vessels
- Genetic factor
- Narrowing of the aorta at birth (aortic coarctation)
Certain genetic diseases increase the risk of aortic dissection-
- Turner's syndrome
- Marfan syndrome
- Other connective tissue disorders
- Inflammatory or infectious conditions
What is the treatment of aortic aneurysm?
Treatment may vary from watchful waiting to emergency surgery depending on the size and rate at which aortic aneurysm is growing. Ruptured aortic aneurysms are life threatning thus a close monitoring is essential so that timely surgery can be planned.
There are two types of surgery for aortic aneurysms.
- Open surgery - It involves removing the damaged section of the aorta and replacing it with a synthetic tube (graft), which is sewn into place, through an open-abdominal approach. With this type of surgery, it will likely take you a month or more to fully recover.
- Endovascular surgery is a less invasive procedure sometimes used to repair an aneurysm. Doctors attach a synthetic graft to the end of a thin tube (catheter) that's inserted through an artery in your leg and threaded up into your aorta. The graft is placed at the site of the aneurysm and fastened in place with small hooks or pins. The graft reinforces the weakened section of the aorta to prevent rupture of the aneurysm.
Recovery time for people who have endovascular surgery is shorter than for people who have openabdominal surgery. However, follow-up appointments are more frequent because endovascular grafts can leak. Follow-up ultrasounds are generally done every six months for the first year, and then once a year after that. Long-term survival rates are similar for both endovascular surgery and open surgery.