Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Screenings and Why They are Important
Posted by: Tampa Cardio
On: July 11, 2019
This is a lesser known type of aneurysm that most have never heard of, yet it can be very important to get screened.
It is a potentially life-threatening condition. The problem is most times it remains undetected until it is too late. Some patients will report back, abdominal, or flank area pain just prior to an aneurysm rupturing. Most patients will have no symptoms at all remaining unaware that they even have an aneurysm until it has ruptured. The outcome of a rupture can be life-threatening. Early detection of an aneurysm is key in preventing further complications.
What Exactly is an Aortic Aneurysm?
An aneurysm itself is a widening within a blood vessel and a build-up of blood causing pressure. An aortic aneurysm is a dilation that occurs in the aorta, the body’s major artery which supplies blood from the heart to the rest of the body. An aneurysm can take place anywhere along the aorta but is most in the abdomen (just below the kidneys). It is when an aortic aneurysm is left undetected and untreated that death may result – an aortic aneurysm, over time, can leak and eventually rupture, resulting in extreme pain and possible death due to excessive internal bleeding.
Are You at Risk for an Aortic Aneurysm?
Aortic aneurysms are most common in white men over the age of 60 and are much less common in both women and in African Americans. Genetics plays a large role as well, and can heavily predispose a person to an aortic aneurysm. High blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes also present high-risk factors, however, the most common cause of an aortic aneurysm is smoking. Cigarette smoking not only increases a person’s risk for developing an aortic aneurysm but it also highly increases the risk of that aneurysm rupturing once it has developed.
How is an Aortic Aneurysm Diagnosed?
An aortic aneurysm screening is a preventative screening that is both painless and non-invasive and is especially recommended to men between the ages of 60 and 75 who have smoked or do smoke. An aortic aneurysm can be detected through a simple physical examination – your physician will be able to either feel the dilation of the aorta directly, or they will be able to detect abnormal sounds due to turbulence occurring in the blood flow. An aneurysm can also be detected through CT scans or ultrasounds if necessary.
An aortic aneurysm is an extremely dangerous condition that can result in serious complications and even death. Early detection is of the utmost importance. If your family history predisposes you to such conditions, or you are a Caucasian male over age 60 please schedule an appointment with Tampa Cardiovascular Associates today for an aortic aneurysm screening, and help to ensure your health for many years to come. www.tampacardio.com 813-975-2800.
Posted by: Tampa Cardio