An aortic aneurysm is a bulge at a weak point in the wall of your aorta — a large blood vessel that carries oxygen-rich blood throughout your body. This dangerous condition can turn life-threatening if the bulge begins to leak.
An untreated aneurysm can tear or rupture, resulting in internal bleeding and loss of consciousness. Call 911 and seek immediate medical attention if you, or someone close to you, experiences symptoms of a burst aneurysm.
Our doctors at Dignity Health North State specialize in treating many cardiovascular conditions, including aortic aneurysms. Find a Doctor today to discuss your best options for aortic aneurysm treatment in Northern California.
Care for Aortic Aneurysms at Dignity Health North State
The location and severity of an aortic aneurysm dictate its treatment. Generally, aneurysms that are growing quickly, or are already larger than two inches, require treatment.
Thoracic (chest) aneurysms are more likely to need treatment than aortic aneurysms developing in your abdomen. If they are small, abdominal aortic aneurysms may not require treatment. In these situations, your Dignity Health North State doctor will monitor the aneurysm for changes in size.
Treatment for aortic aneurysms include:
- Endovascular stent placement — also called endovascular aneurysm repair, this procedure is performed through an incision in your groin. A piece of mesh (stent) is placed around the aorta to reinforce the wall and stop it from bulging.
- Aortic graft placement — surgery to replace a portion of the aorta with a plastic or fabric graft. Thoracic aortic aneurysms require open heart surgery; although in some cases, these aneurysms can be accessed through the ribs. Abdominal aortic aneurysms are repaired through an incision in the abdomen.
Thinking Through your Treatment Options
You will not have a chance to review your treatment options if you have a leaking or ruptured aneurysm. These conditions are treated by emergency surgery.
If your aneurysm is intact, and you have the benefit of time, discuss the risks and likely outcomes of all available treatment options. With an abdominal aortic aneurysm, you may be able to opt for a wait-and-see approach.
How Can You Prevent Aortic Aneurysms?
Aortic aneurysms can occur in otherwise healthy people. Still, you can reduce your risk with these common strategies:
- Treat known heart conditions, such as high cholesterol.
- Promptly treat and control high blood pressure.
- Quit smoking.
- Eat a heart-healthy diet.
- Exercise regularly.
Are you concerned about your heart health? Talk to one of our experts. Our doctors, nurses, and staff at Dignity Health North Shore aim to treat the whole person, not just the condition. Learn about our holistic approach to medicine.
Dignity Health North State offers advanced aortic aneurysm treatment in Mt. Shasta, Red Bluff, and Redding, CA.
Find a Doctor at Mercy Mount Shasta, Mercy Medical Center Redding, or St. Elizabeth Community Hospital.