A potentially life-threatening condition, abdominal aortic aneurysm or AAA, has been affecting hundreds of thousands of people in the United States alone every year. Apex Heart and Vascular Center aims to assist those patients diagnosed with this condition. We have trained, experienced, and renowned cardiologists who will diagnose, treat, and monitor abdominal aortic aneurysm in patients.
Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm: Definition
Blood vessels typically become weak when they receive less oxygen and nutrients due to less blood flow. Weakened blood vessels are susceptible to blood clots and more. These include the likely development of a bulge. This is what aneurysm is all about.
In most cases, the bulge occurs in the abdominal aorta. The abdominal aorta is considered as the body’s largest blood vessel, running from the heart’s left part through the center of the chest and the abdomen. It allows blood to be carried to the legs.
Some AAAs do not necessarily result in problems. However, when a rupture occurs, the condition can become life-threatening. In addition to the silent work of AAA, patients do not always show any symptom. If there are any, the patients typically feel a pulsating pain in their backs, sides, buttocks, groins, and legs. Due to the nature of this condition, doctors closely monitor patients with AAA. Surgery may be a necessity if the bulge grows to a bigger size.
Old age is one of the risk factors for developing abdominal aortic aneurysm. Men above 60 years of age are more susceptible to getting this condition. An individual with a disease that weakens the heart or the blood vessels such as atherosclerosis and high blood pressure also has an increased risk of developing AAA. Smoking, as well as genetics, can also increase such risks.
Diagnosis and Treatment
To diagnose AAA, doctors utilize abdominal aortic ultrasound in creating images of the aorta. CT or MRI scan can only see the thoracic aorta located in the chest while the ultrasound can see the abdominal aorta located in the abdomen. Through these images, the size of the aorta can be evaluated and the condition can be diagnosed.
After checking the images, the doctor will then provide recommendations in terms of treatment. Treatment options may include medications for lowering blood pressure levels and surgery for repairing or replacing the aorta’s damaged part.
Let our cardiologists assist you today. Set an appointment online or call 973-916-0002.