South Palm Cardiovascular Associates
Cardiology, Vascular & Vein center serving Delray Beach, Boynton Beach, Boca Raton, Wellington & Lake Worth, FL
Aortic aneurysms are enlargements in the aorta, the main artery carrying blood away from your heart. These aneurysms often cause no problems, but if they swell and rupture, your life could be in danger. The board-certified cardiology team at South Palm Cardiovascular Associates in Delray Beach, Florida, specializes in diagnosing and treating aortic aneurysms. They also provide screening tests for patients who could be at risk of developing an aortic aneurysm. Call South Palm Cardiovascular Associates today to schedule a consultation, or book using the online form.
Aortic Aneurysms Q & A
What is an aortic aneurysm?
An aortic aneurysm is a problem caused by weakened walls in your aorta — a major artery that delivers oxygen-rich blood from your heart into your legs. An aneurysm occurs when the artery enlarges. There's a possibility the aortic aneurysm could rupture, resulting in a life-threatening bleed.
Blood clots could also break away from the aneurysm and cause a thrombosis, blocking a blood vessel elsewhere in your body. Thrombosis can be painful and may lead to an embolism, where the clot blocks blood flow to vital organs.
What are the symptoms of an aortic aneurysm?
Aortic aneurysms often develop without causing any symptoms. You might never realize you have an aortic aneurysm unless it grows large enough to cause problems, or you undergo a routine abdominal scan.
If your aortic aneurysm does start getting bigger, it could cause persistent abdominal pain and back pain. You might also be able to feel a pulse near your bellybutton.
A ruptured aortic aneurysm causes severe, tearing pain in your abdomen. Your blood pressure drops, which can make you feel light-headed, and your pulse gets much quicker than normal. A ruptured aortic aneurysm is an emergency, so you should call 911.
What causes an aortic aneurysm?
An aortic aneurysm is most often due to problems like atherosclerosis (narrowed arteries) and high blood pressure. Other possible causes include inflammation of the blood vessels, an infection in your aorta, or a traumatic injury.
Factors that increase your risk of developing an aortic aneurysm include being:
- Over 65
- A smoker
Family history can also be significant. If you have two or more of these risk factors, you might need to have an aortic aneurysm screening at South Palm Cardiovascular Associates. Contact the experts there for advice on whether you should go for screening.
How are aortic aneurysms treated?
Historically, aortic aneurysms needed major abdominal surgery, requiring an extended hospital stay and involving the higher risks associated with open surgery. Today, the South Palm Cardiovascular Associates team uses a minimally invasive procedure, endovascular abdominal aortic aneurysm repair (EVAAR).
EVAAR takes place in the cardiac catheterization lab. Your cardiologist inserts a slim tube called a catheter into your artery, then passes a synthetic graft (stent) through the catheter to the site of the aortic aneurysm. The stent goes across the aneurysm, reinforcing the artery wall and preventing further expansion or rupture of the aneurysm.
The vascular specialists' expertise in performing EVAAR ensures your treatment is both effective and stress-free. Call South Palm Cardiovascular Associates today to arrange a screening, or book an appointment online.
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