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How Serious Is An Enlarged Aorta?

An enlarged aorta possesses a severe health issue for any individual. Rupturing of the aorta in such cases is high and can happen at any time. Rupturing of the aorta causes spillage of the blood into the surrounding region. Due to this, there is an excessive blood loss because of which the death rate increases drastically. In a majority of the cases, patients die before reaching the hospital to receive an operation to stop the spillage.

How Does An Enlargement Occur?

It is still unknown why there is an enlargement of the aorta. Nonetheless, case studies and the availability of technology help doctors to conclude that weakened wall thickness of aorta along with the stress of the wall is one of the reasons among the rupturing of the aorta. Others include the following:

  • Medical history of the family
  • Use of tobacco products
  • High B.P or blood pressure.

Detecting the Enlargement

The growth rate of the expansion of an aorta is 10% per annum. However, a rupture only occurs when the size of an aneurysm exceeds 5 centimeters in diameter. Also, detecting the condition becomes impossible in a few situations because enlargement of aorta and formation of an aneurysm do not provide any symptoms that help in identifying it in the initial stage.

Detecting the enlargement of the aorta is possible with the help of x-ray, MRI scan, angiography, and CT scan. The results of and will provide a clear view of the presence of the enlargement along with its location and shape. If the size of is nearing the 5 centimeters mark or exceeds it, the doctor asks the patient to admit himself or herself in the hospital to receive immediate medical attention.

How Serious Is An Enlarged Aorta?

How Serious Is An Enlarged Aorta?

The seriousness of the enlarged aorta varies from one person to another. That stated, it also depends on several conditions such as overall health, age, gender, race, blood pressure, medical history of the family, and smoking habits. The risk factors associated with the enlarged aorta further varies according to the size of an aneurysm.

When the size of the enlargement is small, the death rate is at 20%. When there is a rupture, the death rate increases to 80% and in many of the cases leads to death. Upon detecting the enlargement of the aorta, it is preferable to seek immediate assistance to block further advancement and prevent a rupture.


Treating an enlarged aorta requires the doctor to operate according to the condition of the patient, the location of the enlargement, the size, and its shape. The physician will also consider additional aspects as discussed above to check whether invasive or non-invasive methods are helpful in treating the enlarged aorta.

Non-invasive methods are only helpful when the enlargement or the size of an aneurysm is below 5 centimeters. During such stages, the doctor to will place the patient under observation. The treatment includes a change in the diet plan and a reference to a therapist who helps in quitting smoking.

Invasive methods include open repair surgery and endovascular repair surgery. Choosing between either of the operations depends on the health condition of the patient and whether the patient can sustain post-operation risk factors. The surgeon will also take into consideration any allergic conditions of the patient. Even the surgery becomes a difficult task for the surgeon when there is a rupture due to the excessive loss of blood. Even if the patient tends to undergo surgery, the survival rate decreases to 50%, and it further falls to 20% for those who possess illnesses such as kidney and heart disorders.

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Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:March 20, 2018

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