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Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm


An abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) is an aneurysm located in the main blood vessel (the aorta) in your stomach area. An aneurysm occurs when a weakened part of a blood vessel expands like a balloon. The aorta is the large artery that carries blood from the heart to the rest of the body. With AAA, part of the aorta weakens and expands.

If an aneurysm gets large enough, it may burst. This can be very serious, even life-threatening.

Symptoms of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm

An aneurysm usually causes no symptoms. However, there are certain risk factors for developing AAA, including:

  • Genetics
  • Age
  • Smoking
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol level (a buildup of fat and other materials in the blood)

At Dignity Health Heart and Vascular Institute of Greater Sacramento, we offer a number of preventative health programs and tools for our patients. Find out more about how we can help you Stay Heart Healthy.

Diagnosing Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm

Abdominal aortic aneurysm is often found when tests (such as an X-ray, MRI or CT scan) are done for an unrelated problem. Or your doctor may find it while feeling your stomach during a routine exam. Learn more about our Diagnostic Procedures.

Treatment for Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm at Dignity Health Heart and Vascular Institute

Abdominal aortic aneurysm repair may involve open surgery or an endovascular procedure to remove the aneurysm.

Your doctor will weigh the chances that the aneurysm will burst against the risks of treatment. Because a small aneurysm is not likely to burst, it may be monitored for a while. If it reaches a certain size, your doctor may recommend treatment.

Learn more:

Dignity Health Heart and Vascular Institute of Greater Sacramento provides access to skilled vascular specialists who work together to evaluate and treat patients with AAA.