An aortic aneurysm is an enlarged aorta, usually more than 4 cm in diameter. The risk of dying from having this disease is an average of 1.1% a year.Arrange for consultation
The aorta is the main blood vessel carrying blood from the heart to the rest of the body. An aortic aneurysm happens when the wall of aorta becomes weakened and thinned out, causing it to balloon out. It may occur at any point along the aorta and the most common place is in the abdomen. Aortic aneurysms can lead life-threatening bleeding when they rupture.
Aortic aneurysms usually do not cause any symptoms and often discovered coincidentally when an individual undergoing imaging of the abdomen for another reason. If you experience symptoms such as severe back pain and abdominal pain, it may be a sign of impending rupture and requires urgent intervention.
Aortic aneurysms do not develop overnight but over several years. The risk factors include hypertension, high cholesterol, coronary artery disease, peripheral arterial disease, smoking, connective tissue disorders (such as Marfan’s syndrome) and trauma.
Treatments for aortic aneurysms are based on the size and growth of the aneurysms.
The common reasons for intervention include:
A computerised tomography (CT) scan of the aorta is required when planning for an intervention. Our vascular surgeon Dr Lee Chee Wei will discuss the treatments accordingly during the consultation in the clinics.
Small aortic aneurysms don’t need surgery and can be followed up with a duplex scan of the aorta 6 monthly basis for monitoring. This is a non-invasive scan and it can avoid radiation exposure.
If the aortic aneurysms are larger than 5.5cm, some form of intervention is advisable to reduce the risk of rupture and death.
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