An aneurysm is a weakened area along the wall of an artery. An aneurysm can balloon outwards, and the individual layers of the artery wall can split (dissection), or the entire wall can burst (rupture). A ruptured aneurysm is a medical emergency. Although an aneurysm can occur in any artery, the most common ones are:
Early detection and treatment is key when it comes to aneurysms. You can trust Dignity Health Heart and Vascular Institute of Greater Sacramento to take care of your cardiology and vascular needs with the most advanced, personalized care. Find a Doctor today to learn more about our services for aneurysms in the Sacramento region.
Most aneurysms do not cause symptoms because they develop slowly over time. If an aneurysm is pressing against nearby tissue, symptoms may include:
- Coughing, hoarseness, or difficulty breathing (for aortic aneurysm)
- Slurred speech (for cerebral aneurysm)
- A feeling of throbbing in the area of the aneurysm
- Pain in your chest, back, jaw, neck, upper back or the side of your abdomen (for aortic aneurysm)
- Weakness on one side of the body (for cerebral aneurysm)
- Steady, gnawing pain in your abdomen (for aortic, mesenteric, or splenic aneurysm)
If an aneurysm dissects, symptoms are usually sudden and severe. They may include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Numbness or weakness in one or both legs
- Sharp, stabbing back pain
- Abdominal pain
- Rapid heart beat
- Low blood pressure
- Loss of consciousness
- Weakness on one side of the body
- Slurring speech
See a cardiology or cardiovascular expert at Dignity Health to get the right diagnosis for your aneurysm.
What Causes an Aneurysm?
The most common cause of aortic aneurysms is atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries.
You may be at higher risk for an aneurysm if you:
- Have high blood pressure
- Have high cholesterol
- Are overweight
- Have a family history of aneurysms
- Are of advanced age
Trusted Aneurysm Treatment with Dignity Health
Our highly trained cardiovascular specialists and surgeons use the latest cardiology technologies to determine the size of the aneurysm and your personalized treatment plan.
Aneurysm treatment depends on the severity. If you have a small aneurysm, your cardiology specialist may recommend treatment if it appears to grow or cause symptoms. We will monitor the size of the aneurysm through regular checkups and testing with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computed tomography (CT) scans.
Treatment options for larger aneurysms or those causing symptoms may include medications to lower your blood pressure or to reduce cholesterol and surgery to repair the aneurysm or insert a stent (tube) to reinforce the arterial wall. The surgery may be open heart surgery or an endovascular surgery. Dignity Health Heart and Vascular Institute of Greater Sacramento provides state-of-the-art treatment for aneurysms in Sacramento, CA and surrounding areas.