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An abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) is a swelling of the aorta – the main blood vessel that leads away from the heart, down through the abdomen to the rest of the body.
Large aneurysms are rare, but can be very serious. If a large aneurysm bursts, it causes huge internal bleeding and is usually fatal.
The bulging occurs when the wall of the aorta weakens. Although what causes this weakness is unclear, smoking and high blood pressure are thought to increase the risk of an aneurysm.
AAAs are most common in men aged over 65.
An abdominal aortic aneurysm causes no noticeable symptoms. However, if it becomes large, some people may develop a pain or a pulsating feeling in their abdomen (tummy) or persistent back pain. An AAA doesn’t usually pose a serious threat to health, but there’s a risk that a larger aneurysm could burst (rupture).
A ruptured aneurysm can cause massive internal bleeding, which is usually fatal. Around 8 out of 10 people have stomach aneurysm death before they can reach the hospital.
The most common symptom of a ruptured aortic aneurysm is sudden and severe pain in the abdomen.
It's not known exactly what causes the aortic wall to weaken, although increasing age and being male are known to be the biggest risk factors.
There are other risk factors you can do something about, including smoking and having high blood pressure and cholesterol level. Having a family history of aortic aneurysms also means that you have an increased risk of developing one yourself.
If a large AAA is detected before it ruptures, most people will be advised to have treatment, to prevent it rupturing. This is usually done with surgery to replace the weakened section of the blood vessel with a piece of synthetic tubing.
If surgery is not advisable – or if you decide not to have it – there are a number of non-surgical treatments that can reduce the risk of an aneurysm rupturing. They include medications to lower your cholesterol and blood pressure, and quitting smoking. You will also have the size of your aneurysm checked regularly with ultrasound scanning.
The best way to prevent getting an aneurysm – or reduce the risk of an aneurysm growing bigger and possibly rupturing – is to avoid anything that could damage your blood vessels, such as:
KIMS, one of the best cardiology hospitals in Hyderabad, is recognized for its multidisciplinary team of healthcare professionals, state-of- the-art facilities and the clinical quality of vascular services. In addition, KIMS is recognized for having the best heart aneurysm treatment specialist doctor in Hyderabad. Our team are experts in traditional open abdominal aortic aneurysm repair and minimally invasive endovascular procedures, making us the best heart treatment hospitals in Hyderabad.