FAQ - Aortic Aneurysm, Abdominal
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My father had open abdominal aortic aneurysm surgery on Tuesday....?

It is now Monday (6 days later) and he is still in intensive care, he has been heavily sedated. He also had pre existing heart and kidney problems and one of his lungs collapsed last night.

What are his chances of survival?

Since he has those other conditions it is going to take a little longer then if he was totally healthy before. He can get better with medication and leading a better lifestyle after he gets out of the hospital. His chances are very good. Good luck.  (+ info)

Do I have a abdominal aortic aneurysm?

For awhile now, I have had stomach pain off and on--sometimes severe-sometimes mild. And you can feel a very strong pulse in my abdomen. Yesterday during a routine exam, my ob/gyn dr felt the pulse and is going to refer me to another dr to get tested for AAA. I have been doing some research and most places say that AAA usually occurs in men over 60. I am a 30 year old female. Is it possible that I have an aortic aneurysm?

Yes it is possible. That doesn't mean that you do. Definetly get it checked, no matter what you do need to find out what is causing this.pp  (+ info)

Do I have an abdominal aortic aneurysm?

For awhile now, I have had stomach pain off and on--sometimes severe-sometimes mild. And you can feel a very strong pulse in my abdomen. Yesterday during a routine exam, my ob/gyn dr felt the pulse and is going to refer me to another dr to get tested for AAA. I have been doing some research and most places say that AAA usually occurs in men over 60. I am a 30 year old female. Is it possible that I have an aortic aneurysm?

Abdominal aortic aneurysm is defined as a localized dilation of the abdominal aorta greater than or equal to twice the normal diameter. It is seen in 5-7% of people above age 60 years in the US. Men outnumber women by a ratio of approx. 4 to 1. Incidence rises sharply after 55 years of age in men and 70 years of age in women. Cigarette smoking, hypertension, and family history are significant risk factors.

Some of the common symptoms of different stages of aneurysm:

1. Stable, intact aneurysm:
-Asymptomatic in most instances
-Possible pain - vague, dull, or throbbing - with gradual onset
-Possible blue, painful toes from thromboemboli originating within the aneurysm

2. Expanding aneurysm:
-Asymptomatic in most instances
-Possible abdominal or back pain with abrupt onset or more intense pain then previously described
-Possible feeling of fullness after eating small amounts of food
-Possible sense of pulsation in abdomen
-Possible nausea and vomiting
-Possible blue, painful toes

3. Ruptured aneurysm:

-Severe abdominal pain that may radiate to groin, back, or legs; pain is unaffected by position
-Fast pulse
-Possible awareness of pulsation in abdomen
-Possible nausea and vomiting
-Possible lightheadedness
-Possible fainting
-Possible shock

Anything is possible, but the chances of you having AAA are extremely slim since male is 4x more likely to have AAA, and usually they're at the age of >60. I don't think it is AAA, however it is difficult to tell without proper radio imaging to rule it out.  (+ info)

I have an abdominal aortic aneurysm of a size of 4.6 cm. Can I take a 15 hour long haul flight? Can I exercis?

Can I take a 15 hour long haul flight? Can I exercise on an air walker (gazelle)?

Those are questions that your doctor needs to answer! Please consult your physician.  (+ info)

what amount of weight can a person with an abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) can lift safely?

I wouldn't lift more than 10 pounds. Of course your doctor can always tell you.  (+ info)

Aortic Aneurysm?

My nan suffers high blood pressure and hyper tension, I have just witnessed her look like she was going to die, I checked up a few things on the internet and in medical books, she has some symptoms of minor hypothermia and more importantly symptoms of an aortic aneurysm. She will NOT go to the hospital, and if we tell her she will leave straight away and won't let us contact her, she is 76 and lives on her own on a council estate, what can I do to help her either relief of symptoms or to persuade her to get medical attention? thanks

Abdominal aortic aneurysm
This factsheet is for people who have had an abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) or for people who would like information on abdominal aortic aneurysms.

An abdominal aortic aneurysm is a dilation (widening or bulge) of a portion of the aorta, usually at a weak spot in the aortic wall. About 1 in 20 people in the UK over the age of 65 develop an abdominal aortic aneurysm. If an abdominal aortic aneurysm ruptures (bursts) it can be fatal. Surgery can repair the aorta - this can be emergency surgery if the aneurysm ruptures or elective (planned) surgery if a patient has an aneurysm that is large and the risk of rupture is high.

About aortic aneurysms
What is the aorta?
The aorta is the largest artery in the body. It carries all the blood that is pumped out of the heart and distributes it, via its many branches, to all the organs of the body. The aorta projects upwards from the heart in the chest and then arches downwards, travelling through the chest (the thoracic aorta) and into the abdomen (the abdominal aorta).

The normal diameter of the abdominal aorta is about 2 to 3cm (about 1 inch).

What is an aortic aneurysm?
An aortic aneurysm is a thin weakened section of the wall of the aorta that bulges outward. Most aortic aneurysms occur in the section of the aorta that passes through the abdomen and are called abdominal aortic aneurysms. A few occur in the part of the aorta in the chest that is near the heart, and are called thoracic aortic aneurysms.

As the wall of the aneurysm is weaker than a normal artery wall it may not withstand the pressure of blood inside. This may cause it to rupture (burst).

The chance of an abdominal aortic aneurysm rupturing depends on the size of it.

If the aneurysm is less than 5cm wide the chances of rupture are small (National Institute of Clinical Excellence - NICE - statistics show that for every 100 people with a small aneurysm, the aneurysm may rupture in up to 5 of those people after 8 to 9 years).
If the aneurysm is greater than 5cm wide the chances of rupture are higher (NICE statistics show that for every 100 people with a large aneurysm, the aneurysm may rupture in about 25 of those people after 8 to 9 years) - and the risk increases with increasing size.

Illustration of the aorta and an aneurysm

Many people have an abdominal aortic aneurysm for years before any symptoms develop, if they develop at all. If you do get symptoms, they may vary according to where the aneurysm is in your body. If an aneurysm is in your abdomen, symptoms may include:

a pulsating feeling in your abdomen
abdominal pain
back pain
If an abdominal aortic aneurysm becomes very large and ruptures (bursts) it can cause excruciating pain in the abdomen and back. A ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm causes severe internal bleeding which is often fatal unless emergency surgery is carried out to repair the rupture.

The main cause of aortic aneurysms is atherosclerosis. This is a condition in which fatty deposits are laid down in the walls of arteries. The deposit is called an atheroma. This weakens the wall and makes the walls less elastic and weaker as a result.

There are certain factors that may make you more likely to develop atherosclerosis and therefore an aortic aneurysm including:

your sex (men are more likely to develop an aortic aneurysm than women)
your age - aortic aneurysms are more common in older people - particularly in the 60-69 age group
your family history - men who have a first degree relative that have had an aortic aneurysm have a higher chance of having an aortic aneurysm
high blood pressure
if you do little physical activity
if you are overweight
Other less common causes of aortic aneurysm include:

trauma to the aorta, for example a crush injury to the chest following a car accident
certain infections including syphilis
rare hereditary conditions such as Marfan's syndrome (a major cause of thoracic aortic aneurysm, the type affecting the part of the aorta near the heart in the chest)
Abdominal aortic aneurysms can be diagnosed from their symptoms when they occur. They may also be found on routine physical examination and chest and abdominal X-rays.

When your doctor examines you, he or she may feel a pulsating mass in your abdomen which may be tender if an abdominal aortic aneurysm is large. If your doctor suspects an aneurysm, he or she will request tests including those below.

An abdominal ultrasound scan is the most common test to detect an aneurysm. It can also measure the size of the aneurysm. For more information on ultrasound scans please see the separate BUPA factsheet, Ultrasound.
Other scans such as computerised tomography (CT) may also be performed. This is very useful for determining the exact position of the aneurysm. For more information on CT scans, please see the separate BUPA factsheet, CT scan.
At present there is not a national screening programme to detect abdominal aortic aneurysms. However, the Government is considering plans to introduce a programme. Scans are available from private clinics and hospitals such as BUPA.

Your treatment for an aortic aneurysm will depend on your symptoms and the size of the aneurysm.

Emergency surgery is needed if an abdominal aortic aneurysm ruptures. This is a major operation and carries significant risks. A small number of people will die during, or shortly after, an emergency operation.

The decision to have elective surgery is based on the size of the aneurysm.

If you have a small abdominal aortic aneurysm (less than 5cm wide), the risk of death caused by surgery is higher than the risk of rupture. Therefore surgery is usually not advised but you will need regular ultrasound checks to see if the aneurysm grows over time. It will also be important to manage your condition by managing risk factors such as smoking and your diet.
If you have an aneurysm larger than 5cm wide, surgery is usually advised. For larger aneurysms the risk of rupture is usually higher than the risks of surgery. However, this will depend on your personal state of health. For some people the risks of surgery will still outweigh the benefits. Your doctor will discuss your options and advise you if surgery is the best treatment for you.
There are two main surgical options for an abdominal aortic aneurysm.

Open surgery
Aortic aneurysm (open surgery) animation

The Flash plug-in is required to view this animation.

In the traditional surgical method, your surgeon will make an opening in your abdomen. The blood vessel will then be opened at the site of the aneurysm and be replaced with a graft. The graft can be made with a piece of blood vessel taken from another place in the body or it can be synthetic. A synthetic graft is made out of an elastic material and is similar to a normal healthy aorta. It gives your artery support to prevent the aneurysm getting bigger.

Minimally invasive surgery and stent insertion
Aortic aneurysm (minimally invasive surgery) animation

The Flash plug-in is required to view this animation.

Alternatively your surgeon may place a stent graft into your aorta. A stent graft is a graft placed over an artificial piece of rigid tubing called a stent. This is a more recently developed minimally invasive technique and is not suitable for everybody. A small cut will be made in your groin and the stent graft will be passed up inside one of your leg arteries until it reaches the area of the aneurysm. The stent will be positioned so that your blood vessel is repaired and the aneurysm is protected from further pressure. This method does not involve open surgery.

Your surgeon will advise you which procedure is best for you.

There are several things you can do to reduce your chance of developing an aneurysm:

do not smoke
have your blood pressure checked regularly
exercise regularly
maintain a healthy weight
You should also have regular medical check ups if you have a family history of arterial disease so that any problems can be detected early.  (+ info)

is surgery is a must for my uncle with abdominal aortic aneurysm of size 13 x 8.8 x 7.7?

Hi doctor sirs,
please give me your valuable suggation for above mentioned as my uncle is of 68 years of age. humble request for urgent reply

Honey, first of all don't listen to Raper Face. Yes, prayer could be the answer but he the Lord also gives surgeons a special talent to be able to operate on people.

Only a dr. that has read your uncle's scans and lab test can answer these questions. It is possible he will need to have surgery, and being in his 60's is not that great of a risk.

I do hope everything turns out well for him.

God Bless you and him.  (+ info)

if someone has an abdominal aortic aneurysm..?

what would there symptoms be if it hadnt ruptured.. would a doctor be able to feel it? and would they be able to exercise normally or would it be painful and hard to do??

It would depend on the size (if it were very small, there probably would be no activity restrictions); if it is large, they would be having regularly physician visits to monitor this condition. Repeat CT scans are usually how they monitor changes in aneurysms of the abdomen. It would depend on where the aneurysm was located as to whether the physician would be able to palpate it or not.  (+ info)

Is it possible for a non smoking teen to have an abdominal aortic aneurysm??

I was lying on the floor on my stomach with my head and ches elevated and my belly resting on a pillow. I was playing a video game, and when I went to get up, If felt like my entire lower body was pulsing. Not really strong, but, I was sore from laying down, so it might just be from getting up and all of the blood rushing back down from to my legs. I REALLY dont think that I have an Aneurysm (I dont smoke, im a teen, but im overweight and dont get much exercise, oh, and I do not have high blood pressure.). What do you guys think? I have no pain.
Thanks, you guys! you all put my mind at ease!!

No, probably not.

In theory anyone can have a AAA, but that line of thinking is rather fatalistic. AAAs are usually the result of hypertension, smoking, and aging of the blood vessels. The only real reason to suspect a AAA in a young patient is if there is some disease that runs in the family that puts the patient more at risk of developing aneurysms in general.

I think you probably laid funny on the floor, and as a previous poster said, interfered with the circulation in your lower body. Nothing serious.  (+ info)

Would an Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm cause a gurgling sound?

One that could heard loudly like a stomach growling.
Yeah, I have a lot of those symptoms. Abdominal pulsing, abdominal/leg/back/chest/groin/buttocks pain, nausea, and anxiety. I went to the ER twice this week and they wouldn't do any tests. They just felt it and listened with the stethoscope. They told me that the pain is probably sciatic nerve and acid reflux and that the pulsing was normal because I'm thin. Now I'm hearing this gurgling sound from my mid stomach (1/2 way between my belly button and my sternum). I have no insurance and I did schedule an appt with a local income based clinic but the soonest one they had was 12/30.

The symptoms of abdominal aortic aneurysm include:

* Abdominal mass
* Abdominal rigidity
* Anxiety
* Clammy skin
* Nausea and vomiting
* Pain in the abdomen or back -- severe, sudden, persistent, or constant. The pain may radiate to groin, buttocks, or legs.
* Pulsating sensation in the abdomen
* Rapid heart rate when rising to a standing position
* Shock  (+ info)

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