About abdominal aortic aneurysm

Written by: Dr. Jaume Juliá Montoya
Edited by: Roser Bernés Ubasos

abdominal aorta aneurysm

Although abdominal aortic aneurysm can be fatal in case of breakage, effective treatment can prevent this from happening. By understanding the risk factors, symptoms and treatment options, the patient, by the specialist, can take action quickly if needed.


What is the aorta?

The aorta is the main blood vessel in the body. Its extension goes from the heart, through the chest and abdomen, where it divides to supply blood to the legs. An abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) is a dilatation of the artery on the part of the aorta that runs through the abdomen.

Over time, this development will increase and finally aorta wall weakens and the strength of the blood pressure can cause a break. This situation causes massive bleeding, often coming to death.


Causes of an aneurysm of the abdominal aorta

It is not known exactly what develops an abdominal aneurysm. The lump may be caused by a weakness in the wall of the aorta that has inflamed. Some specialists in Angiology and Vascular Surgery believe that this inflammation may be due to atherosclerosis, but may also be related to heredity or other diseases.


Symptoms of abdominal aortic aneurysm

Most people with an abdominal aortic aneurysm have no symptoms. Often, the aneurysms grow slowly and go unnoticed.

When an abdominal aneurysm spreads, you can feel a throbbing in the middle or lower stomach, pain in the lower back or breast tenderness. Most abdominal aneurysms are detected in performing routine medical examinations by ultrasounds or scanners.


Risk factors for abdominal aortic aneurysm

Although the specific causes of abdominal aortic aneurysm are not defined clearly, there are some risk factors associated with it:• Have older than 50 years• Being a smoker or have been• Clogged arteries (atherosclerosis)• Maintain high blood pressure (hypertension)• Family history (genetic factors)• High cholesterol (hypercholesterolemia)


Diagnosis of abdominal aortic aneurysm

If the specialist sees signs of the presence of an abdominal aortic aneurysm, you can send special tests to confirm the diagnosis. Usually, they consist of capturing the appearance of your abdomen with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computed tomography (CT) and ultrasound.

The images resulting from these methods contribute to your doctor to "see" inside the aorta, blood vessels and other organs of your body to verify if you have an aortic aneurysm.


strict monitoring

Not all abdominal aortic aneurysms require surgery. If your aneurysm is small dimensions, the doctor may decide to wait and watch carefully to see if changes occur. Among the measures to be taken are: maintain control of vascular risk factors is essential, abstaining from snuff, control blood pressure, diabetes and cholesterol levels.

Moreover, indicate that AAA size is the factor which positions a patient to undergo surgery or not. In men this size is 55 mm in diameter and women 50. If you reach that size and treatment should be sought.


Open surgical repair

With open surgical repair, the surgeon makes a large cut or incision in his abdomen, where the aneurysm is located. The damaged area aneurysm is surgically separated from the main part of the aorta and replaced by a synthetic tube, known as aortic graft, which is sutured in place.

Open surgical repair of an abdominal aortic aneurysm is performed under general anesthesia and takes three to four hours. You can expect to spend a day on a ICU and hospital stay between 7 and 10 days.



Endovascular repair for abdominal aortic aneurysm

A less invasive alternative to open surgical repair is endovascular aneurysm repair (EVAR) using a special device called aortic stent. The stent is placed into the damaged area of ​​the aorta to separate the aneurysm of normal blood flow. It is designed to be placed from the femoral arteries located in the English. No need general anesthesia or open the abdomen and from 6 hours and you can eat.

Because endovascular aneurysm repair is less invasive than open surgery, probably will be shorter hospitalization, usually as short as two to three days.

*Translated with Google translator. We apologize for any imperfection

By Dr. Jaume Juliá Montoya
Vascular Surgery

Renowned specialist in Angiology and Vascular Surgery, Dr. Julia Montoya has a degree in Medicine and Surgery from the Faculty of Medicine of Lleida and Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona since 1986. He is also a specialist in Angiology and Vascular Surgery via MIR at the Hospital de Bellvitge Barcelona. He is currently a researcher: vascular angiogenesis, new anticoagulants and antiplatelet agents and hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

*Translated with Google translator. We apologize for any imperfection

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