Aortic Aneurysms are dangerous enlargements of the aorta and can rupture or leak. The aorta is the largest artery in your body and is responsible for carrying blood from your heart to the rest of your body. This risk increases as the size of the aneurysm increases. These aortic aneurysms can be located in your chest or abdomen, and our vascular specialists can treat both types.
Screening for Aortic Aneurysms
We offer expert screening for aortic aneurysms in Philadelphia, PA. The doctors of Pennsylvania Vascular Associates are well-versed in diagnosing and treating these types of aneurysms of the aorta.
Risk Factors for Aortic Aneurysms
The following risk factors can increase your chances of having an aneurysm:
- High Cholesterol
- High Blood Pressure
- Family history of aneurysms
Symptoms of Aortic Aneurysms
There are not symptoms of an aortic aneurysm until it ruptures. Symptoms of a ruptured aortic aneurysm include severe abdominal, back or chest pain, and often a loss of consciousness. If you have an aneurysm and experience these symptoms, go to the emergency room immediately. Most aneurysms are detected by examination by a doctor, or by an X-ray performed for another reason. The vast majority of aneurysms can be fixed electively before they rupture.
Treatment for Aortic Aneurysms
If your aortic aneurysm is less than four centimeters in size, it should be monitored by an ultrasound every 6-12 months, which can be performed in our accredited non-invasive vascular laboratory in our office. If the aneurysm grows to be larger than 4.0-6.0 centimeters in diameter, surgery (open or minimally invasive) may be considered by the vascular specialists at Pennsylvania Vascular Associates. Many patients can be treated with a stent graft inserted through groin incisions with an overnight hospital stay, whether the aortic aneurysm is in the chest or the abdomen. If open surgery is required, length of hospital stay is usually five to seven days. We can always have our patient evaluated by one of our heart specialists, or cardiologists, the same day as you see our vascular specialist to be sure your heart is strong enough for the surgery.