Advanced Cardiovascular Specialists
Cardiovascular Specialists located in Mountain View, CA
Aortic aneurysms seldom cause symptoms, but they grow over the years and can get large enough to rupture, which is an extreme medical emergency. At Advanced Cardiovascular Specialists, the medical staff, helps patients determine their risk for an aortic aneurysm, offers screenings, and provides exceptional surgical care to repair a large aneurysm. To schedule an appointment for a risk assessment, or if you need surgery for an aortic aneurysm, call the office in Mountain View, California, or use the online booking feature.
Aortic Aneurysm Q & A
What is an aortic aneurysm?
An aortic aneurysm is an enlarged, blood-filled bulge that develops in an area where the vessel wall is weakened.
Since the aorta supplies all the blood from your heart to your body, it’s a large artery that runs from your heart through the center of your abdomen. Along the way, it branches into several smaller arteries that deliver blood throughout the body.
There are two types of aortic aneurysms:
- Abdominal aortic aneurysm: occurs in the aorta where it goes through the abdomen
- Thoracic aortic aneurysm: occurs in the aorta where it goes through the chest cavity
Abdominal aortic aneurysms are more common than the thoracic type.
What symptoms develop due to an aortic aneurysm?
Most aneurysms don’t cause symptoms. When aneurysms are small, they’re not a threat to your health. However, they slowly expand over time and can get large enough to rupture. Symptoms of a rupture include:
- Severe pain
- Nausea and vomiting
- Rapid heart rate
- Clammy skin
A ruptured aortic aneurysm is a severe medical emergency — dial 911 immediately. The aorta is so large that you can quickly lose a significant amount of blood if the vessel ruptures.
Should I be screened for an aortic aneurysm?
The medical team may recommend screening if you have a family history of aneurysms or you’re between the ages of 65-75 and you’ve smoked at any time over the years.
After assessing your risk factors, a physician can let you know if you need an initial screening and how often you may need follow-up screening.
How is an aortic aneurysm treated?
After an aortic aneurysm is diagnosed, your treatment is based on the size of the aneurysm. Many aneurysms are routinely monitored using ultrasound to evaluate their size and growth.
Some aneurysms stay small and never need treatment. Others need surgery because they’re already large at the time they’re diagnosed, or they’re rapidly growing.
When you need surgical repair, a physician may recommend:
In this minimally invasive procedure, a physician uses X-ray imaging to guide a catheter through an artery to the aortic aneurysm. When the catheter is at the aneurysm, he implants a stent so blood can flow through the stent without getting into the aneurysm.
A physician uses open surgery to replace the weak section of the aorta with a graft.
To learn more about screening, or if you need treatment for an aneurysm, call Advanced Cardiovascular Specialists or book an appointment online.