What is aortic aneurysm?
Aneurysms occur when blood vessels suddenly bulge or protrude from a larger artery in the body. They can occur in the aorta, which connects the heart to the body and is responsible for bringing oxygen-rich blood from the heart to all parts of the body.
Over time, these bulges can cause a buildup of pressure in the artery, which can lead to the rupture of the aorta or injury to surrounding blood vessels. When this happens, the pressure increases in the aorta and may cause it to burst, destroying the wall of the artery and causing blood to leak into the body.
The symptoms of aortic aneurysm can be confused with other conditions, particularly if a person has a family history of aneurysms or an irregular heartbeat.
The symptoms of aneurysm that require medical attention include:
- inability to breathe
- sudden pain in the chest or throat
- swelling in the neck or arms
- weakness or loss of coordination
Sudden aneurysm can block blood flow to the lungs, brain, or other organs. A person who has aneurysm may experience these symptoms, as well as:
- nausea or vomiting
- loss of consciousness
- vomiting blood
- Depression or anxiety
Symptoms of aneurysm may include depression, anxiety, and paranoia. These symptoms can occur after the aneurysm bursts or after it occurs with little warning, according to the University of California, San Francisco.
In cases where the aneurysm has burst, the symptoms can also include:
- breathing difficulty or difficulty breathing
- lack of energy
- shortness of breath
- pain in the chest, jaw, throat, or head
- loss of balance and coordination
- suicidal thoughts or behaviors
People with aneurysm that have burst can also experience changes in personality, mood, and personality shifts. These symptoms may result from:
- loss of appetite
- feeling anxious or depressed
- difficulty concentrating
- chronic pain
- chronic irritability or rage
- Extreme pressure in the chest
If the bulge is large enough, the bulge may compress the rib cage, causing pain in the chest. This may be due to:
- pain in the chest when breathing or coughing
- hearing, especially in the center of the chest
- pain on the left side of the chest
- pain in the ribs, where the aneurysm occurs
- excessive coughing
Problms with food
People may notice sudden changes in their appetite, as well as changes in the texture of their tongue and saliva. An individual with aneurysm may have less appetite and less taste of food.
This may be due to the pressures caused by aneurysm that often compress the aorta and artery walls, which can cause food to be stuck in the mouth.
This, in turn, may cause a person to have less saliva in their mouth, which leads to a change in taste. The food may be harder to swallow, and the aneurysm may also cause the food to become stuck in the throat.
Aneurysm also causes an increased sensation of choking, due to the changes in the muscles surrounding the airway.
There are several other health issues that may occur in aneurysm that can confuse the symptoms of aneurysm. Some of these include:
- Urinary problems
When aneurysms break, leaking blood may leak into the bladder. While aneurysms can cause an infection, a person may notice their bladder isn’t working properly.
It is important to know that in cases of a ruptured aneurysm, the flow of urine into the bladder will decrease as the body attempts to heal the injury.
This can result in a kidney infection, which can cause the person to have an increased need to urinate.
A person experiencing a kidney infection may also notice blood in their urine. Urinary tract infections can cause changes in an individual’s urine, such as a yellow or brown color or odor.
According to the University of California, San Francisco, if the blood doesn’t clear up after a few weeks, a person may need a cystoscopy to identify a blockage.
Diabetes can cause aneurysm in the aorta. It is a common cause of aneurysm, as it may disrupt the normal blood flow of the aorta and surrounding blood vessels.
It is a chronic condition, and people may experience a gradual increase in blood sugar. When this happens, a person may notice that their fingers and toes become cold or blue, even though their blood sugar level remains normal.
These symptoms are often a sign that the body is trying to compensate for insulin resistance. When it becomes too much for the body to handle, the blood may pool in the fingers and toes.
An aneurysm will most likely affect the lining of the blood vessel, which may cause symptoms to develop after a bulge forms.
In rare cases, aneurysms may lead to the formation of a large fluid collection. This can cause swelling in the neck, as well as in the face and throat.
The fluid buildup causes many different symptoms to occur in the neck and mouth, including:
- trouble swallowing
- pain in the throat
- a sore throat
- difficulty breathing
- nausea or constipation
- Small aneurysms may cause the affected area to be numb or sore.
Aneurysms can occur as a result of certain medical conditions. They are most often caused by certain genetic conditions.
Conditions that cause aneurysms include:
Endocarditis , a form of sepsis, which happens when a part of the heart becomes inflamed. In people with endocarditis, the tissue surrounding the heart may become leaky. It is also a form of sepsis, which happens when a part of the heart becomes inflamed.
In people with endocarditis, the tissue surrounding the heart may become leaky. cancer of the aorta, which causes fluid to collect around the aorta, or the major blood vessel that carries blood into the heart. This excess fluid can create a bulge, which can become an aneurysm and causes fluid to collect around the aorta, or the major blood vessel that carries blood into the heart. This excess fluid can create a bulge, which can become an aneurysm.
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy , a condition where the heart muscle becomes thicker, making it hard to pump blood.
A doctor will usually rule out medical conditions first before discussing aneurysms. These conditions include:
- cancer of the aorta
- chest diseases
How are aortic aneurysms treated?
When aortic aneurysms grow large enough to start bulging out of the aortic valve, a doctor will likely surgically trim them.
Aortic aneurysms do not spread from one person to another, and most people are not at risk of having a ruptured aneurysm.
The risk of a ruptured aneurysm depends on many factors, including:
- family history
- ethnic background
- exposure to chemicals and toxins
- construction of the aortic valve
- certain medications
However, having an aortic aneurysm is still a serious condition and should always be treated with urgency.
What are the risk factors for aortic aneurysm?
Different age groups at high risk of aortic aneurysm include:
- young children: 1-2 years old
- adults under 55 years old
- pregnant women
- who are under age 30 years old
Those with aortic valve replacement usually do not have an aortic aneurysm, so there are not many risk factors to worry about. However, it is always possible that if you have aortic valve replacement, you might develop an aortic aneurysm. Your surgeon will make this decision in your medical treatment plan.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for aortic aneurysm. Your surgeon will recommend surgery to prevent any potential health problems.
There are two main types of aortic aneurysm:
Aortic dissection : This refers to the condition in which there is a hole in the wall of the aortic valve. In aortic dissection, the valve does not close completely, and blood leaks out and causes a weakening of the wall.
Aortic aneurysm: This refers to the condition in which there is an overgrowth of the aortic valve into the vessel. If left untreated, an aortic aneurysm can burst, causing a blood clot to form and break free, causing a life-threatening stroke.
It is possible to have aortic aneurysm without having aortic dissection. However, your aortic aneurysm must be confirmed with imaging tests, and you are considered to have aortic aneurysm if you have symptoms, including pain, swelling, or weakness in the leg.
If you do have aortic aneurysm, you are at higher risk of heart failure. You should have a regular check-up with your doctor, to prevent or treat heart problems, and make sure that your aortic aneurysm is not causing any symptoms.
When an aortic aneurysm ruptures, it is important to seek emergency care as soon as possible. The early signs of an aortic aneurysm are often vague, and do not always show symptoms.
A ruptured aortic aneurysm can cause life-threatening blood loss, as blood can flow into the tissue in the aortic aneurysm.
The most dangerous risk is an aneurysm leaking out of the heart and causing a stroke. If you have symptoms of aortic aneurysm, you should seek emergency medical care as soon as possible.
As a blood vessel disease, aortic aneurysm is very treatable. As long as your doctor detects an aortic aneurysm early enough, you can expect to have an aortic aneurysm treatment or surgery to treat your aneurysm.
Treatment is usually performed under general anesthesia.
Some of the most common surgeries include:
- surgery to close the aortic aneurysm
- surgery to drain or remove excess blood
Other operations may include:
- the creation of a bypass to keep the blood flowing around the heart
- treatment with medications to control your blood pressure
- surgical reconstruction of the aortic valve
At your post-op appointment, your surgeon will ask you about the medications that you are taking, and may request that you stop them, as they may affect your aneurysm treatment.