Aortic Aneurysm

Causes such as blood pressure, smoking and genetic factors lead to life-threatening aneurysms which are almost like a bomb ready to explode, that are defined as the loss of strength and enlargement of the vessel wall. Aneurysms usually do not cause any symptoms. Most aneurysms are discovered incidentally as a finding on examination for another reason.

What Is An Aneurysm and Why Does It Happen?

Aneurysm or ballooning in colloquial language is the loss of strength and enlargement of the vessel wall. To be able to speak of an enlargement or an aneurysm, it must dilate at least one-half or two times the normal diameter of the vessel. Vein diameters vary according to the age, gender, height, body weight and the region. High blood pressure, smoking, genetic factors and some infections are among the causes that lead to aneurysm. Sometimes, aneurysm formation is seen in the vessels after trauma.

What is the Aorta?

The main artery that carries clean and oxygen-rich blood to our organs after leaving the heart is the aorta. The aorta is called by different names according to its course in our body. The part of the aorta after leaving our heart is called the "Ascending Aorta". It then gives the arteries to the head and neck region and to our arms. The aorta curves in this area and begins to descend down the body. This part of the arc is known as the "Arcus Aorta". It then descends from the thoracic cavity and enters the abdomen at the level of the diaphragm (Thoracic Aorta). It continues its downward course and divides into two at the navel level and divides into two arteries that supply our legs (Abdominal Aorta).

What Are the Symptoms of an Aneurysm?

Aneurysms usually do not cause any symptoms. Most aneurysms are discovered incidentally as a finding on examination for another reason. Complaints differ according to the location of the aneurysm. Aneurysms located in the abdomen appear with abdominal pain or pain that often spreads to the waist. In large aneurysms, the patient may feel as if he is hitting a ball when he puts his hand on his stomach. Aneurysms in the chest cavity can cause chest pain, backache, or hoarseness. Sometimes the first finding is the rupture of the aortic vessel.

How Is An Aneurysm Diagnosed?

Today, it is quite easy to diagnose aneurysm. The most commonly used diagnostic method is ultrasonography. Generally, in patients with aneurysm detected after ultrasonography, further investigation is required. Computed Tomography is used most frequently as an advanced examination in the follow-up of the patient and in the planning of treatment.

In which part of the aorta is an aneurysm found?

An aneurysm can occur in any part of the aorta. Aneurysms most often develop in the section after they have delivered the renal arteries. Sometimes a single aneurysm may occur, sometimes multiple aneurysms.

How Is Aortic Aneurysm Treated?

Treatment methods vary according to the location and size of the aneurysm. If the diameter of the aneurysm in the ascending aorta is 5.5 cm or more, it should be treated if there is no other connective tissue disease. In the case of intra-abdominal aneurysms, the intervention limit is the aneurysm diameter reaching 5.5 cm and larger. Aneurysms smaller than 5.5 cm with a high growth rate should also be treated. Small aneurysms can be monitored with medical treatment. Two different methods are applied for aneurysms at the intervention limit. Open surgery and closed (Endovascular) method. In the open surgery method, the ballooned area is removed and an artificial vessel is placed in its place. In the closed method, aneurysms are disabled with stent-grafts placed inside the vessel. Endovascular method is the first choice in anatomically suitable patients and is applied with low risks.

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