An abdominal aortic aneurysm is becoming a prevalent medical condition, with the statistics suggesting that 6% of women and 13% of men above 65 years old live with the disorder. In most cases, the Coconut Creek, FL nurse practitioner at South Florida Vascular Associates may monitor the aneurysm and offer effective treatments for severe aneurysms.
Facts about abdominal aortic aneurysm
An abdominal aortic aneurysm is a part of the abdominal aorta that balloons or grows abnormally large. The width of the abdominal aorta is approximately 2.5 centimeters. An aneurysm can cause the aorta to double its usual size or even more prominent. Larger aneurysms have an elevated risk of rupturing, resulting in severe internal bleeding or even death. An abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) does not necessarily spell doom; if it ruptures, it can cause death. A diagnosis of AAA may mean constant monitoring and performing the necessary procedure if it threatens your life.
Signature symptoms of an abdominal aortic aneurysm
Most patients with AAA rarely report any symptoms and only learn about its existence during routine medical evaluations or when testing for other medical conditions. Some aneurysms may start small and remain small, while others may develop over time. Although AA rarely causes symptoms, some people report a pulsating sensation around the belly button, loss of consciousness, sudden lower back or abdominal pain, or sudden unexplained weakness. Call South Florida Vascular Associates immediately for a physical examination if you experience sudden severe pain in addition to these symptoms.
Diagnostic techniques for abdominal aortic aneurysms
Often, medical experts detect AAA during physical exams for other health problems or routine medical tests like an ultrasound for the abdomen or heart. During your appointment, your doctor reviews your personal and family health history and performs a thorough medical exam. The team may order imaging tests to confirm their diagnosis if they suspect an aortic aneurysm. Your doctor may order imaging tests like abdominal MRI, ultrasound, or CT scan to obtain a closer and clear view of your internal body structures.
Men have a higher risk of AAA than women, making routine screening recommendable. You can approach the caring team at South Florida Vascular Associates if you suspect that you have a high risk for the disorder.
Treatments for abdominal aortic aneurysms
Your treatment plan aims to prevent the rupture of the aneurysm. Initially, your provider may recommend watchful waiting, also known as medical monitoring, if the aneurysm is small. Your provider may schedule several appointments for imaging tests and routine checkups to monitor the growth of the aneurysm and manage medical conditions like high blood pressure that may cause it to rupture. You may need an abdominal ultrasound six months after diagnosis and regular follow-up visits.
If your aneurysm is 4.8-5.6 centimeters or more prominent, your provider may recommend an abdominal aortic aneurysm repair surgery. You may benefit from the surgery if you also have a painful, leaking or tender aneurysm. Your surgery options include open abdominal surgery and endovascular repair. The survival rates for both procedures are equal.
Call the South Florida Vascular Associates office or click on the booking tool to learn more about abdominal aortic aneurysms.