What are Aortic Aneurysms?

In general, an aortic aneurysm refers to a swelling of the aorta up to 1 ½ times its normal size. If left untreated, aneurysms can rupture the aorta, triggering extreme pain, internal hemorrhaging, and death. In its earlier stages, this characteristic swelling is unaccompanied by pain or discomfort. As the swelling progresses, you may experience pain in the back, legs, or abdomen, numbness in the legs, and, with some types of aortic aneurysm, a hoarse voice.

What Risk Factors are Associated with Aneurysms?

Since most people with the early stages of aortic aneurysm do not notice any symptoms, it is of vital importance that you see a cardiovascular specialist if you possess any of the associated risk factors. These include pre-existing disorders such as coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, peripheral vascular disease, and some congenital diseases. Additionally, lifestyle factors such as obesity and tobacco use and even simple factors, like your age, could affect your probability for developing aortic aneurysms.

How Does My Cardiovascular Specialist Treat Aortic Aneurysms?

Using in-office diagnostic tools such as ultrasound imaging and CT scans, the physicians at Heart & Vascular Associates of Acadiana will consider factors such as the diameter and rate of growth of the swelling to determine when to proceed with an invasive procedure to plan an endograft (large stent) or for surgical intervention.  Currently, we have not developed a drug to treat aortic aneurysms, leaving invasive procedures as the only option for correcting the problem. In some early cases, strictly controlling blood pressure can decelerate the rate of the aneurysm’s growth. As with so many cardiovascular disorders, attention to your own overall wellness can help prevent the development of aneurysms. Talk to your cardiovascular specialist about changes you can make in your daily life to help preserve your heart health.

Talk to Your Acadiana Cardiologists About Your Heart Health

To schedule an appointment with Heart & Vascular Associates of Acadiana, please contact our office at (377) 534-4356. Our four offices proudly serve patients in the Lafayette community as well as the entire Acadiana region.