Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA)

What is Abdominal Aortic Aneruysm?

An abdominal aortic aneruysm (AAA) is an enlargement or bulge that develops in a weakened area within the largest artery in the abdomin, the aorta. The aorta runs from your heart down through the chest and into your abdomen. An abdominal aortic aneruysm occurs when the wall of the aorta progressively weakens and begins to bulge. If the (AAA) remains undetected, the aneruysm eventually becomes so large, and its walls so weak, that rupture occurs. When this happens, there is a massive internal bleeding and possible death.

AAA can be safely treated or cured within early diagnosis. Most people feel no symptoms, and AAA is often detected when tests are conducted for other unrelated reasons. Some of the symptoms associated are:
• A pulsing feeling in the abdomen.
• Unexplained, severe pain in the abdomen or lower back.
• Pain, discoloration, or sores on the feet.

Ultrasound screening is a painless, safe and accurate way to to detect AAA.

The most important factor determining the treatment of AAA is its size. Treatment may require a lifestyle change such as quitting smoking, lowering blood pressure, and taking medication. For large AAA's repair may be carried out either by placement of an endovascular stent graph or by open bypass grafting.