An abdominal aortic aneurysm, or AAA, is a weak and bulging part of the wall of the aorta. The aorta is the major artery that brings oxygen-rich blood to the lower body. Aneurysms can burst, causing a life-threatening emergency. Large abdominal aortic aneurysms often require surgery to prevent rupture. Small aneurysms may be monitored and left alone, what doctors call “watchful waiting.”
Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Treatment at Dignity Health
Dignity Health is a nationally recognized leader in heart and vascular care, including abdominal aortic aneurysm, in Arizona. Call (844) 852-0648 or use our Find a Doctor tool to make an appointment with one of our experts in cardiovascular conditions. We offer cardiovascular services at our Chandler Regional Medical Center and St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center locations. You will receive a full range of care from a team of specialists, nurses, technicians, therapists, and dietitians.
Our treatment plans for abdominal aortic aneurysm focus on avoiding rupture. Once an abdominal aortic aneurysm has been found, we monitor it with yearly imaging tests. If necessary, we offer advanced cardiac imaging and cardiac MRI.
If an abdominal aortic aneurysm becomes too large, aortic aneurysm repair surgery may be necessary. This procedure involves placing a stent inside the weakened part of the artery. The stent relieves pressure on the artery wall and reduces the likelihood of rupture.
What Causes Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm?
Aneurysms, including abdominal aortic aneurysm, are caused by the pressure created by the force of blood pumping through an artery. Eventually, this pressure causes the artery wall to weaken and bulge outward, forming an aneurysm.
Doctor don’t know why some people develop abdominal aortic aneurysms while others do not. Certain risk factors can increase your likelihood of developing an abdominal aortic aneurysm, including:
Men are more likely to develop an abdominal aortic aneurysm than women.
Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Symptoms
Abdominal aortic aneurysm is considered a “silent” disease because it often causes no symptoms until it bursts and becomes life threatening. Because there aren’t always signs of abdominal aortic aneurysm, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends screening for men who have smoked and are between the ages of 65 and 75. When symptoms are present, they may include:
- Pain in jaw, neck, back, chest, or belly
- Difficulty breathing
- Sensation of feeling your heartbeat in your abdomen
If an abdominal aortic aneurysm ruptures, symptoms may include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Loss of consciousness
- Abdominal or lower back pain
- Rapid heart rate
Call 9-1-1 for emergency medical treatment if you believe you or someone around you has experienced a ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm.
Dignity Health offers treatment for vascular conditions, including abdominal aortic aneurysm, in Arizona.