An aortic aneurysm is a growth in the aorta that can occur at any place in the body. The occurrence is due to accumulation of increased the cholesterol level along with high blood pressure. Due to this, there is a weakness in the aorta that further reduces the flexibility of the longest blood vessel in the body.
When aorta loses its flexibility, it turns hard and develops weak spots at specific regions. As the blood flows at high pressure through the aorta to different parts of the body, the aorta sees the development of the bulge or swelling. The bump is an aneurysm and can rupture as it grows with time.
How Fast Can An Aortic Aneurysm Grow?
The growth of an aortic aneurysm can occur at the rate of 10% per annum. The value is universal for a person with a healthy health condition. However, it varies for those who have new health ailments such as high blood pressure, cholesterol, Marfan syndrome, and bicuspid aortic valve. All these constitute for increased rate of growth, which results in a rupture at a faster rate.
Causes for Occurrence Of An Aortic Aneurysm
The crucial reasons for the occurrence of an aortic aneurysm include:
- High blood pressure
- Family history, where any individual displayed symptoms of an aneurysm in the past
- Previous episode of an aneurysm
- Marfan syndrome
- Bicuspid aortic valve.
Diagnosing the Growth And Treatment
Diagnosing the growth is possible by carrying out tests that include MRI scan, CT scan, x-ray, angiography, and echocardiography. With the help of it, the specialist will be in a position to locate an aneurysm along with its size and structure. It will help in measuring the diameter of an aneurysm. The doctor terms the severity of the condition based on the size of an aneurysm.
If the dimension is below 5 cm, the specialist will consider a treatment that helps in reducing the growth of an aneurysm. The therapy includes a change in the diet plan that helps in lowering cholesterol and high blood pressure. If the individual has the habit of using tobacco, the patient will refer to a therapist who helps in reducing it or quitting altogether.
When the dimensional is near to 5 cm or in excess of it, the doctor will opt for a surgery. Surgery for aortic aneurysm includes open repair and endovascular repair. Performing an operation will be helpful in preventing a rupture. However, the doctor does not proceed with the process blindly. He considers the following factors to ensure prompt recovery:
- Health conditions
- Risk factors associated with the operation
- Recovery period
- Side effects
- Location of an aneurysm
- Size and structure of an aneurysm.
As it is difficult to identify the presence of an aortic aneurysm, the symptoms experienced by an individual provide the opportunity to detect in its early stage. The following are few of the signs that help in approaching a doctor and undergo the screening tests to determine the presence of an aneurysm:
- Sudden development of headache
- Pain in chest, neck, jaw, and arms
- Pain in the abdominal region
- Blurred vision
- Numbness to one side of the face or body
- Numbness in legs.
An aortic aneurysm is hard to detect because it does not display any symptoms until there is a rupture. Upon a rupture, the individual suffers from excess loss of blood that leads to a life-threatening situation. About 85% of patients with a ruptured aneurysm die even before reaching the hospital.