Abdominal aortic aneurysms are silent enemies that have a remedy in time

Aneurysms affect both women and men, but it is more common in men over 50 years of age, who smoke or have smoked at some point in their lives.

Illustration of endovascular procedure. Photo: Provided by the specialists.

This type of aneurysm does not present symptom until they reach a large size, or in more severe cases, until they rupture. Likewise, they can occur in any artery, however they occur more frequently in the aorta, the main artery that transports blood from the heart through the chest and abdomen to the rest of the body.

Similarly, there are cases of aneurysms in the abdominal tract and in the thoracic tract, which can cause the part of the aorta affected by the aneurysm can dilate or widen, weakening the wall and this can cause its rupture, for which it is crucial to go to periodic medical evaluations, know the risk factors, the symptom and treatment options so you can be prepared and act quickly if needed.

Various studies show that aortic aneurysms are present in 2 to 4% of people over 50 years of age, mainly men, and 80% are located in the abdominal aorta. Among the risk factors for aneurysm aortic (abdominal or thoracic), we can mention: the to smokefamily history, older age, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, or vascular disease (blood vessel problems).

“Anyone who suffers from aneurysm aorta is facing a life-threatening condition, because the aorta could rupture suddenly. And as the majority occurs in patients who do not present symptom, this precisely causes the unexpected rupture that causes internal bleeding with high risk and mortality. However, if detected early and intervened, the success rates of surgery are high and the chances of being able to lead a normal life are also high,” said the Dr. Fernando Joglarvascular surgeon.

Usually the aneurysm does not present symptom until it reaches a very large size or even breaks. In these cases, the main symptom that may occur are back and chest pain, and a drop in blood pressure, nausea, cold, clammy and pale skin.

If he aneurysm is not large enough to be felt on physical examination, it can be diagnosed in advance by abdominal ultrasound (in the case of a aneurysm abdominal) or an echocardiogram (in the case of a aneurysm thoracic). That’s why it’s important to talk to your doctor about it. aneurysm aortic valve to find out if a clinical study needs to be done.

Particularly in high-risk patients, such as men between 65-75 years of age, who smoke or have smoked at some time in their life. Although a aneurysm of the aorta can be fatal if it ruptures, the good news is that there is effective treatment to prevent that from happening. By understanding the risk factors, symptom and treatment options, you can be prepared to act quickly if needed.

“The definitive treatment is always surgical, both in a aneurysm not complicated as broken. Today, you can opt for an endovascular intervention or repair of aneurysm endovascular (EVAR), which is a procedure with much less risk of complications, minimally invasive, and the patient spends less time in the hospital and with very good results”, explained, for his part, the Dr. Rafael Santinivascular surgeon.

Unlike open surgery aneurysmin which the chest or abdomen is opened and the affected aorta is replaced with a prosthesis, in the endovascular procedure, only a “stentgraft” or metal mesh covered with fabric is inserted from the groin to isolate the aorta affected.

“This implant, usually performed by a vascular surgeon, reinforces the weakened section of the aorta to prevent rupture of the aneurysm. Recovery time is generally faster with this procedure than with open surgery and it is less aggressive, making it ideal for older or high-risk patients,” added Dr. Santini.

Not all aortic aneurysms need surgery. Timely screening tests are of the utmost importance since complications and mortality associated with aneurysms are reduced. With a diagnosis of aneurysm It is important that it be evaluated by a specialist in vascular pathology. If yours is small, your doctor may decide to wait and watch carefully for any changes. If you have high blood pressure, your doctor may prescribe medicine to lower it. If you smoke, your doctor may suggest that you seek help to quit.

It’s never too late to make healthy lifestyle changes, like quitting to smokeeat healthy foods and get more physical activity. These measures can help prevent aneurysm of the aorta and its complications. You should ask about the size of the aneurysmwhether the doctor has noticed any changes and how often you should see your doctor for follow-up visits or to discuss whether surgical intervention is recommended.