Abdominal aortic aneurysm

The abdominal aorta is the largest artery in the abdominal cavity.


What is an abdominal aorta aneurysm? It is an enlargement and weakening of the walls of  the main blood vessel that delivers blood to the body in the abdominal region.


Pain in the abdominal region that is constant, back pain , flank pain. There may be a pulsating abdominal feeling in the abdominal region. There may be nausea. The problem with this condition is many times it goes undetected.

The most common cause of an aneurysm is arteriosclerosis- hardening of the arteries, smoking, trauma, high blood pressure, and hereditary causes.


The typical threshold to have surgery is a distension of the aorta of 5.5 cm. You can choose to have the operation opening the abdominal area or a less invasive procedure through the groin region.


Patients that are at high risk of a rupture have the following criteria:

  • 6 cm distension
  • .6/cm per year increase in distension
  • COPD/Smoker
  • HTN poorly controlled
  • Women
  • High wall stress
  • Shape very eccentric of walls or artery
  • Family history of this condition Vanderbeltuniversity.com

So the take home message here is this…

It is hard to detect if you have this condition so if you are a smoker, age over 65 and have smoked more than 100 cigarettes in your life  you need to be screened for this condition. If it ruptures death will happen rapidly.

Your Doctor will do an ultrasonography.




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