An aortic aneurysm is a bulge in the wall of the aorta. The aorta is the body's largest artery. It carries blood from the heart to the rest of the body. The aorta goes through the chest and the abdomen.
An aneurysm tends to get bigger over time. It can burst and lead to heavy, uncontrollable bleeding.
The goal of treatment is to repair the aortic aneurysm. This is done to prevent more problems. If the aneurysm bursts, it is life-threatening. It needs treatment right away.
The type of treatment depends on the site of the problem and how severe it is.
Surgery called (aneurysmectomy)—Part of the aorta (with the aneurysm) is removed. It is replaced with a mesh graft. In some thoracic aneurysms—the aortic valve or other nearby vessels are replaced or repaired.
Stents—a tube is inserted into the aorta. It channels the blood away from the aneurysm. This is to prevent it from bursting.
There are no current guidelines to prevent an aneurysm. Screening may be advised for those with certain risks.
Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA). EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/abdominal-aortic-aneurysm-aaa. Accessed August 25, 2021.
Aortic aneurysm. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/aortic_aneurysm.htm. Accessed August 25, 2021
Sakalihasan N, Michel J, et al. Abdominal aortic aneurysms. Nat Rev Dis Primers. 2018;4(1):34.
Screening for abdominal aortic aneurysm: recommendation statement. US Preventive Services Task Force website. Available at: https://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/uspstf/recommendation/abdominal-aortic-aneurysm-screening. Accessed August 25, 2021.
Thoracic aortic aneurysm. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/thoracic-aortic-aneurysm. Accessed August 25, 2021.
Last reviewed July 2021 by
EBSCO Medical Review Board
Nicole Meregian, PA
Last Updated: 8/25/2021
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