Abdominal aortic aneurysm refers to a condition where the aorta, the main blood vessel that supplies blood to our body, becomes enlarged. Aorta runs through the center of the chest from the heart to carry blood to other parts of the body. It is the largest blood vessel in the human body, so the enlargement of the aorta can be life-threatening if it bursts.

Treatment of aortic aneurysm depends on the size of the abnormal bulge and at the speed at which it is growing. A few primary tests are done to check the aneurysm and devise the right treatment plan for that. Most primary care doctors do not recommend surgery unless the symptoms become very severe.

Symptoms and Causes

Aortic aneurysm often grows without any symptoms, which makes it very difficult to detect them. Most aneurysms are small, and they never rupture. You will feel back pain, constant abdominal pain, and a pulse near year belly button if you have an enlarged aorta.

Aneurysms can develop anywhere at the aorta, but they are commonly formed in the abdominal area. Hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis), blood vessels infections, and any blood coagulating disease can be the typical primary causes of abdominal aortic aneurysm. In all the above-mentioned causes, blood vessels become damaged or swelled up, which in turn could lead to an aortic aneurysm.

Complications of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm

If your aneurysm grows at a swift pace, it has more chances of getting ruptured and bleed. Low blood pressure and a rapid pulse are the signs that your abdominal aortic aneurysm has ruptured. Moreover, if blood clots are formed in the blood vessels in different organs, this situation can be quite dangerous. It can lead to severe pain or can block the blood flow to the heart altogether.

Note that aneurysms can develop in any part of the body. Therefore, to keep them in control, you need to visit your nearest community healthcare center and ask for a thorough medical checkup every six months to one year.

You can also make a few lifestyle changes to prevent the condition. For instance, smoking nicotine can cause infections to last longer in the body than the usual time. So avoiding tobacco and eating a healthy diet instead would be the simple ways to keep your blood pressure and cholesterol levels under control. In case you are taking any medications, then take them as prescribed.

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    About the Author

    Dr. Ghassan M. Al-Jazayrly, MD

    A graduate of University of Aleppo Faculty of Medicine, Dr. Al-Jazayrly or, as he is colloquially known: Dr. AJ, is an oncologist and hematologist of a Complete Care Community Health Center (CCCHC) with more than 36 years of experience. In recent years, he’s been involved with a non profit organization known as Every Woman Counts (EWC) which provides free breast and cervical cancer screening and diagnostic services to California’s underserved populations in order to eliminate health disparities for low-income individuals.

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