Your aorta is a very large blood vessel that carries freshly oxygenated blood throughout your body.
An aortic aneurysm is a bulge at a weak area along the wall of the aorta. It can be life threatening if it dissects (leaks) or ruptures. Blood flow can be reduced quickly, leaving your body without enough oxygen to survive. A full-thickness aortic rupture can cause massive internal bleeding and unconsciousness.
If you or someone close to you has symptoms of a burst aneurysm, fast action is critical. Call 911.
Aortic aneurysms are both preventable and treatable. At Dignity Health Southern California, our doctors are experts in total heart health, from prevention to treatment to recovery. We partner with our patients to provide specialized heart care, including aortic aneurysm treatment, in Southern California. Find a Doctor online and make an appointment at one of our five first-class locations in Long Beach, Northridge, Downtown LA, Glendale, and San Bernardino.
Reducing Your Risk of Aortic Aneurysm
Even if you are healthy, it’s possible to have an aortic aneurysm. These straightforward routines can help you reduce your risk:
- Treat and control high blood pressure
- Treat other heart conditions such as high cholesterol
- Quit smoking, a major risk factor for abdominal aortic aneurysms in men
- Exercise regularly
- Eat a heart-healthy diet
Aortic Aneurysm Treatment at Dignity Health Southern California
Your doctor will discuss your symptoms with you and develop an individualized treatment plan. Treatment options vary depending on the size of your aneurysm and where it is in your body.
Treatment is typically necessary for aortic aneurysms larger than two inches and aneurysms that are growing quickly.
Treatment for a thoracic aneurysm (one that occurs in your chest) is more likely than for an aortic aneurysm in your abdomen. Abdominal aortic aneurysms may not require treatment at all if they are small. They may be simply monitored for any changes in size.
Aortic aneurysm treatments include:
- Aortic graft placement. For thoracic aortic aneurysms, open heart surgery is needed to replace a portion of the aorta with a graft made of plastic or fabric. Your surgeon may be able to repair a thoracic aortic aneurysm from the side of your chest through your ribs. For an abdominal aortic aneurysm, your surgeon will make an incision in your abdomen.
- Endovascular stent placement or endovascular aneurysm repair. Your surgeon will insert a stent (piece of mesh) to reinforce the wall of your aorta and prevent it from bulging. The surgery is performed through an incision in your groin.
For a leaking or ruptured aortic aneurysm, emergency surgery is necessary. For an abdominal aortic aneurysm, you may be able to take a wait-and-see approach.
At Dignity Health Southern California, your doctor will guide you through the information you need to understand your condition and the benefits and risks of your treatment options. Reach out to one of our experts today.
Dedicated Dignity Health doctors provide comprehensive, personalized aortic aneurysm treatment in Southern California.