Treating an Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm
Abdominal aortic aneurysm, otherwise known as AAA, is when a bulge forms in the wall of the aorta, one of the body's main blood vessels. The exact causes of aortic aneurysms aren't fully known, but are often attributed to:
- Atherosclerosis—a buildup of fatty substances, cholesterol and products in the arteries
- Genetic disorders of connective tissue, such as Marfan syndrome, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, Turner's syndrome, and polycystic kidney disease
- Congenital syndromes like bicuspid aortic valve or coarctation of aorta
- Giant cell arteritis—inflammation of temporal and other arteries
- Infections such as syphilis, salmonella or staphylococcus
UPMC's Heart and Vascular Institute serves the communities of northceentral PA with excellence in cardiovascular care, to help treat a wide range of conditions related to the heart and vascular system. To learn more about how we treat abdominal aortic aneurysm in Williamsport, PA, Find a Provider at UPMC.
Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Symptoms
Some abdominal aortic aneurysms will cause symptoms, while others may not. The most common symptom is pain in the abdomen, chest, lower back or groin. Aneurysms may also cause a pulsing sensation in the abdomen. Other symptoms may resemble other medical conditions and problems.
Sudden onset of severe pain in the back and/or abdomen may indicate an aneurysm rupture, which is a life-threatening emergency. Call 911 if you or someone else experiences sudden severe pain.
Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Causes
An aneurysm is caused by the force of blood pumping through an artery. Over time, this forceful pumping can weaken the vessel wall to the point where it bulges outward. Risk factors for this condition include being male, over the age of 65, being overweight, smoking, having high blood pressure and having hardening of the arteries.
Treatment of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm in Williamsport, PA
Specific treatment will be determined by your physician based on age, health, medical history, symptoms, medications and other factors. Less severe cases may be monitored by routine ultrasounds and controlled by modifying risk factors or taking medications. Surgical treatment such as open repair and endovascular repair are common treatments for a threatening aneurysm.
A vascular expert at UPMC can help recommend the right treatment to suit your individual needs and preferences.
UPMC is dedicated to providing the most advanced care in the region for abdominal aortic aneurysms in Williamsport, Wellsboro, Muncy, and surrounding areas of PA.