Abdominal aortic aneurysm is described as enlargement of the inferior region of the aorta that extends via the abdominal area. It is important to note that the aorta is the major blood vessel that transports blood from the heart to the entire body.
Since it is elastic in nature, it can be filled with blood under high pressure. An aneurysm develops once the wall of the artery is weakened and distended. These aneurysms are typically revealed before they cause any indications such as back discomfort but it might break if they grow too big. Remember that a ruptured aneurysm is dangerous and can result to significant bleeding.
What are the predisposing factors?
- High blood pressure – this speed up the damage to the blood vessel walls
- High cholesterol
- Arteriosclerosis – this occurs if the normal coating of the arteries weakens where the walls solidify and the buildup of fat and plaque obstruct the movement of blood.
What are the indications?
Abdominal aortic aneurysm often develops in a slow manner and does not trigger any symptoms, which makes them hard to detect. Some cases of aneurysms do not rupture.
Once an abdominal aortic aneurysm grows, some of these symptoms might be evident:
- Pulsating sensation close to the navel
- Back pain
- Deep, continuous pain in the abdomen or on the side
Do I need screening?
An abdominal aortic aneurysm poses as a significant health risk that might not have any associated indications until a life-threatening event arises, especially if the aneurysm ruptures.
In most cases, an abdominal ultrasound is utilized as a preventive screening tool to identify an aneurysm. This is vital so that immediate treatment can be provided before it ruptures.