Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, MD, FFARCSI

An irregular expanding or swelling of a part of artery which occurs when the wall of the blood vessel gets weak is called an Aneurysm.

Even though some aneurysms may be present from the birth (congenital), the exact cause of this situation is still in debate. However, the defects in the part of the artery wall may be the reason.

Some of the usual spots for aneurysm include:

  • Cerebral Aneurysm of that which occurs in the brain
  • Popliteal Artery Aneurysm, occurring in the leg behind the knee
  • Mesenteric Artery Aneurysm or in the intestine
  • Affected area being the Aorta, the major heart artery
  • Splenic Artery Aneurysm or which occurs in the artery of the spleen.

The risks for certain type of aneurysms are increased by high B.P (blood pressure), heavy cholesterol & smoking. High blood pressure (B.P) specially is responsible for abdominal aortic aneurysm. Aneurysm can also be formed due to Atherosclerotic disease (cholesterol build up in arteries).

Which Aneurysm Is The Most Common?

Symptoms of aneurysm are dependent on the part of the body it occurs. In case, the aneurysm is located near the body surface, a throbbing lump along with pain and swelling is observed.

Aneurysm inside the body or in the brain often goes unnoticed. The aneurysm in the brain may expand without splitting open (rupturing). As the aneurysm expands, it will press on the nerves and can cause double vision, headache and dizziness. It can also lead to ringing in ears.

The rupturing of the aneurysm will lead to pain, low B.P (blood pressure) sudden increase in the heart rate and subsequent light-headedness. The rupturing of the aneurysm in the brain is followed by an unexpected severe headache, which is often termed by people experiencing as “worst headache of the life”. Fatality rate after a rupture is highest. This is often the most common kind of Aneurysm.

Exam and Tests

Tests which are made to diagnose an aneurysm comprise:

Treatment

  • The treatment is decided by the size & location of the aneurysm. Doctors usually recommend regular checkups to check the growth of the aneurysm.
  • Surgery can also be opted. Again, the kind of operation to be followed depends entirely on the location and the size of the aneurysm.
  • A large open surgical cut could be involved in the surgery. Endovascular embolization, a procedure to clot the Aneurysm & slowdown the risk of rupture is carried out at times. In this process metal coils are put inside the aneurysm. Some brain aneurysm may need to clip to close them off & to prevent it from breaking open.
  • The blood vessel wall can be strengthened through surgery in case of aortic aneurysm.

When to Get in Touch with a Medical Professional for Aneurysm?

  • If you happen to notice a lump in the body, it is advisable to call for medical help even though it might not be throbbing.
  • In case of aortic aneurysm, if you feel extreme pain in the belly/back and it do not go away then rush to emergency room.
  • With a brain aneurysm; which is the common form, if you experience a sudden and severe headache along with nausea, vomiting, seizures, or any other nervous system signs, go to the emergency ward or call local helpline.

Conclusion

There is no sure shot prevention method but controlling and keeping your high blood pressure levels in check will go a long way in avoiding some types of aneurysm. Some of the basic general precautionary practices which will aid in preventing certain type of aneurysm or limiting the complications associated with them are:

  • Follow a healthy diet
  • Do exercise regularly
  • Keep your cholesterol at healthy level
  • DO NOT SMOKE. Quitting smoking will lower the chances of aneurysm along with preventing other hosts of problems.

A ruptured aneurysm is a medical emergency. Aneurysm is also called by many alternative names such as Aneurysm - splenic artery; Aneurysm - popliteal artery; Aneurysm - mesenteric artery.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: February 3, 2018

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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