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Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm

What is AAA?

The aorta is the body’s largest artery and carries oxygen-rich blood from the heart to all your vital organs and to your legs and feet. AAA occurs when the wall of your aorta progressively weakens and begins to bulge. An AAA may continue to enlarge and eventually rupture if it is left untreated, causing severe internal bleeding and possibly death. The risk of rupture is directly related to the size (diameter) of the AAA.

Other concerns are clots or debris that may develop within an AAA. These substances can be carried to other areas in your body and block circulation, causing severe pain or possibly limb loss if blood flow is cut off for too long.

Risk Factors

• Individuals over 60 years are most likely to develop AAA
• Males are more prone to AAA than females
• HIstory of atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries)
• Family history of AAA
• Smoking
• High blood pressure
• Chronic lung disease

Symptoms of AAA

Although AAA has few symptoms some patients report:
• A pulsing feeling in their abdomen
• Unexplained, severe paine in their abdomen or lower back
• Pain, discoloration, or sores on their feet
    (this is a rare symptom)

 

Screening                  Treatment Options

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