The largest artery in the body is the aorta. It leaves the heart and travels down the front of our torso into the abdominal cavity.
If the section of the aorta in the abdominal region becomes enlarged, it is called an abdominal aortic aneurysm. An aneurysm is a bulge that develops in a blood vessel due to a weakness in the vessel’s wall. If an aneurysm bursts, it is life-threatening.
Aneurysms are often caught by sheer luck, because they usually grow very slowly and do not usually cause symptoms. Some remain small and never grow large enough to come close to bursting.
What Are the Symptoms of an Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm?
If a person does have symptoms from an enlarging abdominal aortic aneurysm, those symptoms may include a deep, persistent abdominal pain, a pulsing sensation around the belly button area, or pain in the back.
Causes of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms
There are several reasons why an abdominal aortic aneurysm may develop, including the following:
- High Blood Pressure – Where there is a weak spot in the vessel wall, the vessel will start to bulge and form an aneurysm.
- Atherosclerosis – Known as hardening of the arteries, it can cause weak spots in the vessel wall.
- Inflammation – Certain conditions cause inflammation to develop in blood vessels, which can create a weakness in the vessel wall.
- Trauma – Being involved in a car accident or similar blunt-force trauma to the abdominal aorta can cause an aneurysm to form.
- Infection – A viral or bacterial infection can also cause an aneurysm.
Complications of an Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm
If a person has an aortic aneurysm in the abdomen but does not seek medical care, they will almost certainly die if it bursts. This is because blood will leak throughout the abdominal cavity and will not re-enter the circulatory system, causing massive blood loss.
Other risks include the formation of blood clots on the aortic wall from the aneurysm. A blood clot could break free and get stuck elsewhere in the circulatory system.
Treatment for an Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm
An abdominal aortic aneurysm is usually diagnosed via an MRI, CT scan, or ultrasound. If an aneurysm is found, the doctor will either take a watchful approach or will recommend a procedure to repair the aneurysm, depending on the size of the aneurysm or how it changes over time.
Concierge Physician in Rockville
Wellness check-ups with a reputable physician are recommended for a lifetime of good health. Whether you are having unusual abdominal pain or you are simply looking for an excellent primary care physician, our team at Rockville Concierge Doctors is here for you.
If you are in the Rockville, Bethesda, or Potomac area, take advantage of the superior services offered by our concierge medical practice. You will enjoy plenty of face-to-face time with the doctor, and we will walk you through any health condition.
Please call us today at (301) 545-1811 or request a complimentary meet-and-greet appointment online, and see the benefits a concierge experience brings!