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Understanding Aortic Aneurysm - Part 2

March 21, 2013

In our previous post, we discussed the causes and symptoms of aortic aneurysm. Today, we will explain how the condition is diagnosed and treated.

Diagnosis of Aortic Aneurysm

understanding Aortic AneurysmSince aortic aneurysm does not have symptoms most of the time, it is usually diagnosed by chance while doctors are conducting medical tests. It can also be detected through an aneurysm screening test. This kind of test enables doctors to look for aneurysms before the appearance of any symptoms. Abdominal aortic aneurysm screening test is recommended for men between the ages of 65 and 75 who have ever smoked, and men aged 60 and above who have an immediate family member, such as parent or sibling, who has suffered an aneurysm. Anyone with a close relative who has a history of thoracic aortic aneurysm should undergo a thoracic aortic aneurysm screening test. If a doctor suspects that an aneurysm has developed, he or she will perform a CT scan, ultrasound, or MRI to find out its location and size.

Treatment of Aortic Aneurysm

The method used for treating an aortic aneurysm depends on its size and growth rate. If the aneurysm is big and fast-growing, it will most likely be treated with surgery. The doctor will perform a minimally invasive procedure or open surgery to repair the part of the aorta that has been damaged. A small aneurysm usually does not rupture, and it is often treated with beta-blockers or other high blood pressure medications. Such medications are effective in controlling high blood pressure and reducing stress on the walls of the aorta. Routine ultrasound tests may be required to monitor the status of the aneurysm.

An aortic aneurysm does not have to rupture to cause serious problems; it can also increase your risk of heart disease. If you want to find out more about this condition, feel free to contact one of our physicians.

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