Your aorta is your body’s main blood vessel that runs from your heart through the center of your chest and stomach (abdomen). It’s your body’s main supplier of blood, and a rupture to it can cause life-threatening bleeding.
This rupture commonly happens when the aorta’s thick wall is weakened or damaged. It forms a bulge or a balloon, called an aneurysm. Though an aneurysm can occur in any blood vessel, they occur most often in the abdominal (stomach) portion of the aorta. This is called an abdominal aortic aneurysm.
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What are the symptoms of an abdominal aortic aneurysm? Though three out of four people show no symptoms, some people feel stomach or low back pain.
Who’s at risk for an abdominal aortic aneurysm?
- Men over the age of 60 have the highest occurrence.
- Family history increases your risk.
- Chances increase if you have high blood pressure.
- Risk gets higher if you smoke.
- Chances increase with age.
Lower your risk of abdominal aortic aneurysm by making healthy lifestyle choices.
What are my options if I have an abdominal aortic aneurysm? Your vascular surgeon will recommend specific tests and treatment based on the size of the aneurysm and how fast it’s growing. Treatment may include monitoring, surgical repair, or endovascular stent graft repair.