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What are the Different Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Symptoms?

An abdominal aortic aneurysm is a medical condition in which the aorta balloons in the abdominal area. Usually, there are no abdominal aortic aneurysm symptoms unless the aneurysm is leaking or ruptured. The most common symptom that occurs is abdominal pain, which can radiate out towards the back, groin or legs. Other abdominal aortic aneurysm symptoms include abdominal pulsation, clammy skin and rapid heart rate. In addition, a person with this condition can go into shock due to excessive blood loss from a rupture.

Abdominal aortic aneurysm symptoms can range from mild to severe. For example, a person might experience persistently mild or suddenly severe abdominal pain. An abdominal aortic aneurysm can develop and grow for years without notice due to a lack of symptoms. Since abdominal aortic aneurysm symptoms can oftentimes be non-existent unless a rupture occurs, discovery of the condition usually happens during a physical exam or other medical test.

During a physical exam, the doctor might be able to diagnose the condition by feel. For example, he might detect the enlarged size of the aorta or recognize that the abdomen is stiff. Usually, diagnosis of an abdominal aortic aneurysm occurs through a computed tomography (CT) scan or an ultrasound scan of the abdomen. A magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan or x-ray can also help in diagnosis or discovery of an abdominal aortic aneurysm.

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It is important to treat an abdominal aortic aneurysm, because if it grows large enough to rupture, it can lead to death. The only real way to treat an abdominal aortic aneurysm is through surgery. An aneurysm growing at a slow rate might not require immediate surgery, although it will necessitate monitoring. On the other hand, an aneurysm growing at a fast rate increases the risk of rupture and requires surgery.

There are two types of surgical procedures to treat an abdominal aortic aneurysm. The first, and traditional, one is where the surgeon makes a large incision to the abdomen and removes the aneurysm. He then replaces the removed portion of the aorta with a man-made tube. An endovascular aneurysm repair (EVAR) is the second, and less invasive, type of surgical procedure. The surgeon inserts and expands a stent graft inside the aorta; insertion of the stent graft allows the blood to flow through it, rather than through the aneurysm.

Though surgery is the overall recommended treatment for this condition, surgery itself might not be possible for everybody. This is because, depending on individual health concerns, the overall benefit of surgery varies from person to person. The success rate of treating abdominal aortic aneurysm, before it ruptures, with surgery is high.

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