Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm
Beaumont is the leader in abdominal aortic disease treatments using minimally invasive techniques.
What is Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm?
An abdominal aortic aneurysm is when the large blood vessel that supplies blood to the abdomen, pelvis, and legs becomes abnormally large or balloons outward. An abdominal aortic aneurysm may be caused by multiple factors that result in the breaking down of the well-organized structural components (proteins) of the aortic wall that provide support and stabilize the wall. The exact cause is not fully known.
Risk Factors for Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm
- Age (greater than 60)
- Male (occurrence in males is four to five times greater than that of females)
- Family History (first degree relatives such as father or brother)
- Genetic Factors
- Hyperlipidemia (elevated fats in the blood)
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Diagnosis
In addition to a complete medical history and physical examination, diagnostic procedures for an abdominal aortic aneurysm may include any, or a combination, of a CT scan, MRI, ultrasound or arteriogram.
Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Treatment
Specific treatment will be determined by your physician based on:
- Your age, overall health, and medical history
- Extent of the disease
- Your signs and symptoms
- Your tolerance of specific medications, procedures, or therapies
- Expectations for the course of the disease
- Your opinion or preference
Treatment of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm may include:
1) abdominal aortic aneurysm open repair
A large incision is made in the abdomen to directly visualize the abdominal aorta and repair the aneurysm. A cylinder-like tube called a graft may be used to repair the aneurysm. Grafts are made of various materials such as Dacron (textile polyester synthetic graft) or polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE, non-textile synthetic graft). This graft is sewn to the aorta, connecting one end of the aorta at the site of the aneurysm to the other end. The open repair is considered the surgical standard for an abdominal aortic aneurysm repair.
2) endovascular aneurysm repair (EVAR)
EVAR is a procedure that requires only small incisions in the groin along with the use of x-ray guidance and specially-designed instruments to repair the aneurysm. With the use of special endovascular instruments and x-ray images for guidance, a stent-graft is inserted via the femoral artery and advanced up into the aorta to the site of the aneurysm. A stent-graft is a long cylinder-like tube made of thin metal mesh framework (stent), while the graft is made of various materials such as Dacron or polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). The graft material may cover the stent. The stent helps to hold the graft open and in place.
Learn more about abdominal aortic aneurysms.