Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm

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About a disease

Description

The aorta is the largest artery in the human body, through which blood flows from the heart to all other human organs. The part of the aorta that runs into the chest is called the thoracic aorta. In some diseases, the structure of the aortic wall is disturbed, its diameter increases – this is called an aortic aneurysm. Approximately 25% of all aneurysms occur in the thoracic region, the remaining 75% are in the abdominal aorta.

It is important to remember that the presence of an abdominal aortic aneurysm is associated with a risk of rupture of the aorta and life-threatening bleeding.

If an aneurysm ruptures, there is a sharp pain in the abdomen and back. A ruptured aneurysm leads to severe internal bleeding, which is fatal unless emergency surgery is performed. Therefore, it is important to recognize and begin treatment in the early stages of aortic aneurysm formation.

C impulses

In most patients, an aortic aneurysm may develop for several years before showing any signs of disease (symptoms). The manifestation of aneurysm depends on which part of the aorta is affected. Symptoms of abdominal aortic aneurysm include:

– Feeling of pulsation in the abdomen;

-Dull abdominal pain;

– Backache

Diagnostics

The diagnosis is often made after patient’s complaints and docotor’s examination (when the doctor feels a pulsating formation in the patient’s abdomen). If an aortic aneurysm is suspected, the following tests are performed:

– Ultrasound examination (ultrasound);

– Computer tomography (CT);

– X-ray contrast angiography;

Treatment

The choice of aneurysm treatment depends on the presence of symptoms and the size of the aneurysm. Emergency surgery is required when an aneurysm ruptures. Such operations are accompanied by a much greater risk for the patient than during elective operations, when it is possible to fully examine the patient and carefully prepare for the surgical intervention.

Surgical treatment of an aneurysm of the abdominal aorta is performed by open surgery, which consists in replacing the affected area of ​​the aorta with an artificial blood vessel – an aortic prosthesis. After surgery, it may take from 7 to 10 days to 1 month to recover. It depends on the nature of the operation, as well as the presence of concomitant diseases of the heart, lungs, kidneys.

In addition to open surgery, subject to a number of conditions (location of the aneurysm, its shape), the technique of endovascular surgery can be used. Which consists in the fact that through a small puncture of the artery in the thigh, a long narrow tube called a catheter is inserted into the aorta. A special vascular prosthesis is inserted through the catheter, which is fixed from the inside to the normal parts of the aorta above and below the location of the aneurysm.
This method of treatment is minimally invasive, it is much easier for the patient to tolerate, and the recovery period after surgery is shorter – only 2-3 days. However, it cannot be applied in all cases.

Replacement of the abdominal aortic prosthesis is performed after the complete removal of the affected area of ​​the aorta, when it becomes necessary to replace it with a prosthesis.

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