In many cases, you won’t have symptoms of an aneurysm unless it bursts – at which time, it becomes quite painful. If a blood vessel has weak walls, the blood running through it can cause it to expand, much like a balloon. As the aneurysm gets bigger, it has a higher risk of rupturing. A ruptured aneurysm is a medical emergency as it could lead to sudden death, especially if the aneurysm is in the aorta.
Types of Aneurysms
Your doctor may find an aneurysm when checking you for other medical problems. If an aneurysm is “true,” it has a bulge that is exposed through outer tissue. If it is “false,” it is a slow leak in the artery wall. The blood pools up right next to the artery. The most common non-cranial aneurysm is an abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA).
Risk Factors for Aneurysms
A ruptured AAA is a medical emergency. You are more at risk of developing a AAA if you:
- Smoke. Smoking weakens the walls of the aorta.
- Are over 65 years of age.
- Are male.
- Have a family history of aneurysms.
- Have had an aneurysm before or have an aneurysm in another large blood vessel.
While there are always risks involved with any surgery, that risk is much less than the risk of having an aneurysm rupture. If you are over 50 years of age, you should have a regular physical. However, if you are a high-risk person for an aneurysm, you should ask your doctor to check for aneurysms.
In most cases, doctors only monitor aneurysms that are smaller than 5.5 cm. Once they exceed that measurement, they require surgery, as they are more likely to rupture. The survival rate for a AAA that is larger than 6 cm is 20%.
If you are in good health, your doctor may recommend aneurysm repair when it reaches 4 to 6 cm wide instead of waiting, especially if you are a good candidate for laparoscopic surgery.
Where to Find Aneurysm Repair in Laurel, MD
Minimally Invasive Vascular Center serves Laurel and the surrounding areas in Maryland. To find out more about laparoscopic aneurysm repair, speak with a doctor at the Minimally Invasive Vascular Center. To arrange a consultation, please call 588-803-6482.