When to Treat an Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm

Your abdominal aorta provides one of the major pathways for the circulation of blood around your body — necessary for many of your vital processes. Its pathway runs up through the core of your abdomen and chest. 

When this aorta becomes enlarged, an aneurysm or rupture can occur. If that happens, you may need to seek treatment right away, or it might be better to watch your symptoms and wait for a few days. 

Here are some helpful tips to guide your decision-making process on how to handle an abdominal aortic aneurysm from board-certified vascular and endovascular surgeon Enrico Ascher, MD, who practices at the Vascular Institute of New York in Brooklyn.

Causes and risk factors

Several issues can cause an enlarging abdominal aortic aneurysm, including high blood pressure, hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis), trauma, and infection. A family history of the condition increases your risk, as do other factors including lifestyle, being male, and smoking tobacco. Your risk of this condition also goes up as you age.

Slow changes and lack of symptoms

Damage to your abdominal aorta often occurs slowly, over the course of time, and you might not experience symptoms right away. Some tears in the blood vessel start small and take time to expand. Other cases of enlargement might not cause a rupture at all. However, since a tear in your abdominal aorta can lead to life-threatening bleeding, it's important to identify your condition as soon as possible.

Symptoms to watch

Some of the early symptoms of an enlarging abdominal aortic aneurysm are:

If you think you might be experiencing this condition, be on the lookout for additional symptoms, and consider getting a medical opinion. If you see signs of a rupture, get emergency medical help right away. Watch out for:

If you have any of these symptoms, you could be in serious condition and need emergency life-saving surgery or other emergency treatment. If you experience an aortic aneurysm, you could also be at risk of potentially damaging blood clots and additional blockages that need immediate attention.

No matter whether you need life-saving measures or diagnosis and monitoring support, Dr. Ascher and our Vascular Institute of New York care team are here to help. If you have concerns about abdominal pain or blood pressure concerns, get in touch with us in New York City, New York, today. You can request an appointment over the phone or online.

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