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Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA)

Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA)

Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA)

What is an Aortic Aneurysm Abdominal?

An aneurysm is abnormal blood vessel dilation. The aorta at the back of the abdomen just below the kidneys is the most common site for developing an aneurysm. In this area, an aneurysm is called an abdominal aortic aneurysm and is often referred to as an AAA. AAAs gradually grows at an annual rate of approximately 1 to 5 mm. The bigger it gets, the more likely it will burst. AAA breakdown is a common cause of sudden death. Males are eight times faster than females and are likely to be affected, and 1 in 20 men over 65 have an AAA. However, women with an aneurysm are more likely to break than their male counterparts.

Why do you develop aneurysms?

Age, male sex, smoking and family history are the main risk factors for developing an aortic aneurysm. The wall of an aneurysm is inflamed and the normal cells and proteins that make up the artery wall decay and weaken. The risk of rupture increases sharply once the aneurysm diameter exceeds 6 cm, so in all but very unfit patients, repair is recommended for aneurysms over 5.5 cm. Until they burst, most AAAs is asymptomatic. Screening programs reduce aneurysm breakdown deaths. During tests for other problems, many AAAs are detected by accident.

How do you diagnose AAAs?

AAAs is not reliable for the detection and measurement of physical examination. Ultrasound is very precise and is used to diagnose and monitor the growth of aneurysms. Once an aneurysm has reached 5.5 cm and repair is required, CT scanning is essential to define aneurysm anatomy and determine how best to repair it. Aneurysm surgeries there are two ways to repair an abdominal aortic aneurysm: open repair and endovascular (key-hole) repair using a stent-graft.

Open Aneurysm Repair

Open repair includes the replacement of the aneurismal aorta with a sutured artificial graft just below the renal arteries. This is an important abdominal operation with significant risks. The risk depends on the extent of an aneurysm and the patient's age and fitness. Despite these concerns, the long-term outlook for open repair is good and open aortic reconstruction is a very long-lasting procedure that lasts years without further intervention.

Endovascular aneurysm repair

Endovascular aneurysm repair (EVAR) enables a stent-graft to be delivered via the femoral artery inside an aneurysm, then expanded and fixed under X-ray. Through small groin incisions, the entire procedure can be achieved. Recovery is much faster than open repair and can be treated with less fit patients. There is also a much lower risk of severe complications. For planned and emergency operations where an aneurysm has already broken, endovascular repair can be used. Blood loss is much lower and it is less likely that transfusion is needed.