Men are more likely than women to develop an aneurysm in the aorta, but that doesn’t mean women aren’t at risk. Especially if they have smoked, it can be important to screen both men and women for this condition once they reach the age of 65. While an aneurysm can happen at a younger age it’s far less likely and most people aren’t screened for it unless they have risk factors. If you have been diagnosed with this condition, monitoring it is important. Abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA) can become very serious over time, and treatment may be required as the aneurysm grows larger.
Development of an AAA Over Time
It’s not really possible to predict the rate of growth for an AAA. Some of these are very small and never grow beyond that. Others grow quite rapidly and can rupture if they aren’t treated. But for the majority of people who develop this condition, though, the rate of growth seems to be slow. Doctors will usually monitor the aneurysm carefully and make sure there aren’t any significant changes to it. Rapid growth could mean the need for emergency surgery, and sudden changes could also indicate a developing problem that needs quick treatment in order to reduce the risk of loss of life or serious complications.
Some Aneurysms Never Need Surgery
Not every AAA will need to be treated surgically. If it’s very small and monitored, and it doesn’t grow any larger, the risk of trying to repair it is often greater than the risk of just leaving it alone. A vein clinic and its doctors can help patients decide if surgery is the right option for their particular situation. Naturally there are some aneurysms where surgery is simply a necessity, but fortunately these are relatively few and far between. Because a lot of these types of aneurysms don’t grow rapidly, they may not need anything but monitoring when they are found in people who are already in their later years.
Working With Vascular Surgeons Can Help
Anyone who has an abdominal aortic aneurysm should be working closely with their doctor and having the aneurysm monitored on the doctor’s suggested schedule. That way any changes can be quickly detected and addressed, and if the aneurysm starts to grow that rate of growth can be monitored. If surgery is required, being able to plan for that and determine when it should take place is often much easier than an emergency surgery to repair an aneurysm that is very large or that is about to rupture. These kinds of emergency surgeries come with a lot of risk, and an unmonitored aneurysm also has a greater risk of growth and rupture. By working with your doctor, you reduce the risk of serious problems and can treat your aneurysm accordingly.