What is AAA?
The main blood vessel in the body is the aorta. It is a large blood vessel that extends from the chest to the abdomen. It carries blood from the heart to the rest of the body. The part of the aorta in the abdomen called the abdominal aorta. Supplies blood to the stomach, pelvis and legs.
An aneurysm is a weak area in a blood vessel. If a blood vessel weakens, it begins to swell like a balloon and enlarges abnormally. If an aneurysm forms in the abdominal aorta and this is large enough, it is possible that the aorta to tear or burst.
What are the symptoms of AAA?
As the aneurysm develops, usually no symptoms. When the aneurysm is leaking or torn, you may experience:
- Sudden pain in the abdomen, groin, back, legs or buttocks.
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Abnormal thickening in the abdominal muscles.
- Swelling or lump in the abdomen area.
- Wet skin.
Who gets an AAA?
Doctors do not know accurately what causes AAA, but in general aneurysms are more common in older people, especially men over 60 years. The AAA also transmitted from parents to children. The following factors can also make your chances of developing an AAA increases:
- High blood pressure.
- Being overweight or obese.
- High cholesterol.
How I can determine if I have a AAA?
Talk to your doctor if you have a higher risk of having a AAA or if you have any symptoms. Your doctor may order a test called an ultrasound. An ultrasound provides a picture of the organs from sound waves through the body. You can help measure the size of the aorta.
How is an AAA treated?
If your aneurysm is large or growing rapidly, most likely need surgery. If your aneurysm is small, your doctor may use ultrasound alone control it.
It is important to prevent the aneurysm from bursting or tearing.You can help by leaving smoking and working with your doctor to control blood pressure and cholesterol.