Aortic Aneurysm

Turn to Carondelet Medical Group for advanced cardiac care to diagnose and treat an aortic aneurysm. This condition has the potential to be life threatening, especially if it is left untreated. We encourage you to vocalize your symptoms and to inform us of your medical history so that we can create an effective plan for treatment.

Understanding the Aorta

The largest blood vessel in your body is the aorta. Beginning in the left ventricle of the heart, it then curves up into the chest before continuing down into the abdomen. The aorta functions as a pathway that carries blood from your heart to the rest of your body. Any issues that take place involving the aorta can cause life-threatening damage because of the integral role it plays in the circulatory system.

What is an Aortic Aneurysm?

An aortic aneurysm is when an area of the wall of the aorta weakens or bulges. This can occur at any part of the aorta, but will be classified as one of two main locations:

  • Thoracic Aneurysm – Takes place in the chest.
  • Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm – Takes place in the abdomen.

Abdominal aortic aneurysms are more common than thoracic aneurysms. Both have the potential to be life-threatening and can cause:

  • Aortic Rupture – Blood bursts through the aneurysm, causing internal bleeding.
  • Aortic Dissection – This durable blood vessel features an inner, middle, and outer layer. When the inner layer of the aorta tears, blood leaks through and causes the inner and middle layer to separate. This can lead to rupture.
  • Medical Emergency – Both may present and cause back pain. 911 immediately.

Risk factors associated with this condition are:

  • Smoking
  • Genetics
  • High Blood Pressure
  • High Cholesterol
  • Hardened Arteries
  • Obesity

Treatment for Aortic Aneurysm

Early detection vastly improves successful treatment as well as the avoidance of rupture or dissection from occurring. We may recommend:

  • Medication to lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of rupture.
  • Surgery to repair or replace the damaged section of the aorta.

Depending on the size, we may want to monitor it over a period of time. Of course, in an emergency situation surgery may be the only option.

Contact Our Office

Prioritize the health of your heart and your overall health by scheduling regular checkups with your primary care physician. This is the greatest tool for prevention. In the event that the health of your heart is at risk, know that our cardiologists, interventional cardiologist, and cardiovascular surgeons deliver the advanced care you need. Call our office to schedule an appointment.