Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Can surgery treat or remove an aortic aneurysm before it ruptures?"
I've read that surgery can remove an aortic aneurysm if detected. Should I have this done? What is the likelihood that it will rupture? I am a 30 yo woman with two kids.
Screening for an aortic aneurysms is only indicated in certain populations. For example, patients with connective tissue disorders such as Marfan's Syndrome should undergo regular routine screenings. Ultrasound screening for abdominal aortic aneurysms should be also be done for older men with a history of cigarette smoking, as studies have shown that this is the only general population in which screening is effective. Your doctor may also want to screen for an aortic aneurysm if you have a strong family history of this type of problem. If a pulsatile abdominal mass is felt on physical exam or a patient presents with some complaints worrisome for a AAA, then ultrasound screening may be indicated. Fortunately, there are treatments that exist for the management of aneurysms. If the aneurysm is in the abdominal aorta, then the defect can be repaired "endovascularly" with the use of a stent deployed by accessing the aorta through the femoral artery in the groin. This procedure avoids the need to open up the abdomen as it is in the more conventional surgery. For aneurysms of the aorta closer to the heart, open surgery is the conventional treatment of choice.
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