The aorta, which extends from the heart to the abdomen, is the human body’s main provider of blood. It is approximately the width of a garden hose, and when it becomes enlarged and ruptures, life threatening bleeding can occur. An enlargement present in the lower portion of the aorta is known as an abdominal aortic aneurysm, or AAA. Depending on the severity, doctors may carefully monitor the situation, or emergency surgery may have to be performed.
Symptoms of AAA:
Some aneurysms grow slowly and are hard to diagnose, others expand fast. When this happens patients feel a pulsating sensation near their belly button, back pain, and a deep steady pain in their abdomen or side.
Causes of AAA:
Tobacco is a major cause of AAA. Smoking causes fatty acids to build up on your arteries, and damages the aorta as well. Atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries is another cause, damaging the blood vessels lining. The aneurysms occur most frequently in individuals age 65 or older, as well as those with a family history of the condition. Although rare, an infection of the aorta can also be a trigger.
If you suspect an AAA, visit your doctor or the hospital immediately. It is a serious and potentially life threatening situation. Metroview Vascular & Surgical offers treatment in the Charlotte and Gastonia, NC areas for Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms, along with other diseases of the veins and arteries. Please contact us today to inquire about the full scope of our vascular and surgical services.