An abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) is a bulging (expanding) of the aorta’s wall, the major blood vessel that carries blood from the heart to all parts of your body. A weakening of the wall of the arteries in your abdomen usually causes an AAA. This weakness can occur because there is too much pressure in the blood vessels in your abdomen or because there are other problems with other parts of your body. Regardless of your condition, South Florida Vascular Associates can help treat this condition.
Here are the symptoms, risk factors and treatment options of abdominal aortic aneurysm.
What are the symptoms of an Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm?
The most common symptoms of abdominal aortic aneurysm include:
- Heartburn or acid reflux, which signals that the digestive system is irritated
- Lower back pain that moves down your body (called retrosternal pain)
- Pain in your chest when you breathe deeply or cough, especially if it is worse after eating or drinking
- A bulging in one or both of your groin area
- Sudden weight loss or rapid gain
- Pale skin color or jaundice (yellowing of the skin)
What are the risk factors of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm?
Age is a major risk factor for abdominal aortic aneurysm, as the incidence of this condition increases with age. The incidence has been reported as high as 20% in people over 65 years old, while the incidence among children has been reported as low as 0.2%.
2. Tobacco use
Tobacco use is another important risk factor for Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm. The association between smoking and this disease is stronger among people with high blood pressure than those with low blood pressure, especially in men. Smoking also increases the risk of all other vascular diseases, such as stroke, which are more common in smokers than non-smokers.
3. Family history
Some people with no family history may develop Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm due to changes in the body’s genetic material (DNA). These changes may be inherited from your parents or occur spontaneously (from unknown causes).
4. Lack of physical activity
People who are inactive for long periods have an increased risk of developing abdominal aortic aneurysms. This is because they do not get enough exercise, which can cause the arteries in their bodies to become weak and stretchy.
Chronic kidney disease
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) increases your risk for abdominal aortic aneurysm by up to three times. If you have CKD, you should have regular tests to check your blood pressure and kidney function. You may also need treatment to slow down kidney disease progression if it is severe enough to put you at high risk for developing an abdominal aortic aneurysm.
How is AAA treated?
Aneurysms are typically treated with endovascular balloon angioplasty and stent placement, which involves inserting a small balloon into an abnormal area of the blood vessel wall and inflating it to open up the damaged area and prevent further deterioration of surrounding tissue.
Abdominal aortic aneurysms are a type of aortic coarctation. The aorta is the largest artery in the body, carrying oxygenated blood from your heart to all parts of your body. The abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) is an abnormal widening of the abdominal aorta that leads to increased pressure within the abdomen, especially on one side. This increased pressure can stretch and weaken the walls of the abdominal aorta, the main artery that delivers blood from your heart to your abdomen. If you are experiencing AAA symptoms, reach out to South Florida Vascular Associates today.