For many people, being told they have an abdominal aortic aneurysm can be frightening. There is good reason for the concern, as this condtion can be quite serious in some cases. In other cases, the problem is far less dangerous and just needs to be monitored. With abdominal aortic aneurysms, the issue is primarily the size of the aneurysm and whether it is growing. The rate of that growth also matters. Working with your doctor on whether treatment is needed and what that treatment should be can ease your mind and protect your health if you’re diagnosed with this condition.
How Does an AAA Get Started?
There are several potential causes for an AAA, but doctors really aren’t sure what causes them in some cases. Heredity can play a factor, as can clogged arteries and inflammation that can cause weakness in the artery wall. Injuries to the abdomen and certain diseases and health conditions can also be a cause for this problem. In a lot of cases, though, it’s not clear why the aneurysm developed. The good news is the "why" doesn’t really matter that much. What’s important is discovering the aneurysm and treating it in order to keep it from getting bigger and/or rupturing. A rupture can lead to death.
An Aneurysm Can Grow Rapidly in Some Cases
In most people who have abdominal aortic aneurysms, the problem is a small one that doesn’t need anything but monitoring. If it starts to grow slowly, doctors may eventually want to perform surgery to repair it before it grows too large. Growth of an AAA is generally slow in the majority of cases, as well, which helps them get detected and treated before they rupture. There are cases, though, where this type of aneurysm is very serious because it grows quickly. That can lead to a more rapid weakening of the arterial walls, and an unexpected rupture of the aneurysm itself.
Working With Vein Doctors Can Reduce Risk
To reduce the risk with an abdominal aortic aneurysm, working with your doctor matters. You want your doctor to monitor the problem and check it frequently to see if it’s growing or showing any signs of weakening that could cause it to rupture. Growth or weakening could mean needing to take action, and if that becomes the case then surgery might be necessary.
If the surgery can be planned and prepared for, instead of in an emergency where a rupture is imminent, it’s generally going to be easier on you and easier to get ready for. If your doctor diagnoses you with an aneurysm, be sure to ask plenty of questions and work to be an advocate for your own health. That can give you a better prognosis along with peace of mind.