Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA)

What is an Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm?

An Aortic Aneurysm (AA) develops when the wall of the aorta weakens and begins to bulge outwards like a balloon. It can get bigger over time and when not treated on time, could burst (rupture), causing life-threatening bleeding.

What you should know about Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm?

What is Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm(AAA)?

The abdominal aorta is the largest blood vessel in the body that supplies blood from the heart to the body. An abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) is an enlarged/swollen area of the aorta, a rupture of the vessel can cause life-threatening bleeding. It is vital for an AAA to be diagnosed and treated early.

What are the symptoms of an AAA?

In most cases an abdominal aortic aneurysm is picked up during routine screening or examinations for other conditions. There are no specific symptoms and some patients may not have any symptoms at all. Possible symptoms include, abdominal/lower back pain.

Indications that the AAA may have ruptured include, severe abdominal/back pain, increased heart rate, pale/clammy skin, dizziness and shortness of breath.

What are the causes of an AAA and who is at risk?

The underlying pathology is the weakening of the walls of the blood vessel.

People at a higher risk of developing an AAA have:

  • A family history of AAA.

  • High blood pressure

  • A history of smoking

  • Diabetes

  • Obesity

  • High Cholesterol

How can I reduce the risk of developing an AAA?

Making health lifestyle changes can help reduce your risk of developing an AAA. These included:

  • Regular exercise

  • Stopping smoking

  • Eating healthily

  • Maintaining a healthy weight

  • Reducing alcohol intake.

How is an AAA diagnosed?

  • Physical examination

  • Ultrasound of the aorta

  • CT scan

How is an AAA treated?

  • Monitoring: For smaller sized aneurysms, monitoring with ultrasounds and healthy lifestyle changes may be advised.

  • Surgery: When an aneurysm reaches a certain size (> 5.5cm) , surgery would be necessary to prevent it getting bigger or rupturing/bursting.

How can we help?

Our doctors are professionally trained and experienced in managing AAA. We work with you to produce a treatment plan that suit your needs.