Abdominal Aneurysm: What Is It?

Abdominal aneurysm is a ballooning condition also known as localized dilation in which, the aorta exceeds its normal diameter. The diameter increment could be more than 50% from the normal size. Aorta is a large artery which is responsible for passing blood from heart to the other parts of the body.

This condition can develop at any place along the length of the complete aorta. In approximately 90% cases, the abdominal aneurysm condition develops along the abdominal part of the aorta. People who have crossed the age of 60 are most likely to suffer from this problem. Males are more likely to suffer than the females.

Some of the risk factors associated with abdominal aneurysm include:

• High blood pressure.
• Smoking cigarette.
• Diabetes Mellitus.
• High serum cholesterol.

Arteriosclerosis also known as “hardening of the arteries” is one of the most common causes of
abdominal aneurysm. The aortic walls become weak because of arteriosclerosis. Moreover, the blood exerts excess pressure on the walls which leads to the expansion of the aorta thus making the site much weaker. The causes of abdominal aneurysm are:

• Genetic: it can be a hereditary problem that can be transferred from parents or grandparents to their children or grand children. Those whose first degree relatives might have had this problem are more likely to suffer from it.
• Post-trauma: it can occur after a physical trauma to any part of the aorta.
• Mycotic infection: this includes a heart valve surgery, drug abuse, immunodeficiency or syphilis.
• Arteritis: blood vessels inflammation in the giant cell arteritis, relapsing polychondritis, and takayasu disease.

The symptoms of abdominal aneurysm are rare and the condition is accidently discovered when an abdominal ultrasound or a CT scan takes place. Some of the most common symptoms of this problem are pain in the abdomen which is changing positions at different times. To diagnose this condition an X-ray or an ultra-sound can also be done.

The extent of aneurysm can be determined by going for a computerized tomography. If the abdominal aneurysm ruptures then the case becomes critical. It may even lead to death if not treated at the right time. In some cases a clot can also occur which can make the condition more critical. This is because the flow of blood will be hindered causing a severe condition to occur.

Basically, there is no medication therapy which can decrease the growth rate of the abdominal aneurysm. The problem of high blood pressure and lipids can be treated through medication. The best way to repair the problem is go for an abdominal surgery. Open repair is also an option for those who are young in age.

The post-operative procedure is short but needs a close testing and follow-up. People of older age are advised to go for a regular check-up whenever symptoms of abdominal aneurysm are observed. A good and specialist doctor should be consulted and proper medication for abdominal aneurysm treatment must be carried out.