How is aortic aneurysm treated


An aneurysm is a pathological bulging of a blood vessel. Usually this affects an artery. In the affected area is the Cross section of the artery widened.

How does an aneurysm develop?

An aneurysm can either be congenital or acquired. In the latter case, it arises in the course of life.

How do you recognize an aneurysm?

In most cases, aneurysms can be removed using a Ultrasound examination be detected. However, since not all sections of the peripheral arteries and the large body arteries can be detected with this method, a more precise diagnosis becomes Computed tomography (CT) used. The patient is given a contrast medium beforehand. If there is an aneurysm in the heart chamber, angiography or echocardiography, both of which are two special ultrasound methods, are used for diagnosis. With these two examination methods, too, the patient is given a contrast medium beforehand.

Visualization of the blood vessels using angiography

Aneurysms in the arm or leg arteries are rare. In some cases, these can already be felt by an experienced doctor. In either case, the medical professional can apply a pulsating thickening determine. Feeling for aneurysms in the pelvic or abdominal arteries is only possible if the patient is slim and the vessels are already very large. In overweight people, palpation of an abdominal aortic aneurysm is much more difficult, so preventive examinations in the form of a CT scan or an ultrasound scan may be advisable if certain risk factors are present.

Where can an aneurysm arise?

A bulging artery is particularly common in the area of ​​the main artery on. In this case, medicine speaks of an aortic aneurysm. If this point is still within the rib cage, it is called a thoracic aneurysm. If, however, the aneurysm in the abdomen localize, medicine speaks of an abdominal aortic aneurysm. Another place an aneurysm can occur is in the Arteries of the brain. This is known in medicine as a cerebral or intracranial aneurysm. An arterial bulge can also occur in the The hollow of the knee occur. This is called a popliteal aneurysm.


Symptoms of an aneurysm

Many people who suffer from aneurysm do not know this, because in most cases an arterial sac does not cause any symptoms at first. The first symptoms do not appear until the artery has expanded to such an extent that it is pressing on internal organs. So can with one Chest aneurysm For example, you may experience the following symptoms:

  • to cough
  • difficulties swallowing
  • Difficulty breathing
  • hoarseness
  • Circulatory problems in the arms

On the other hand, if the aneurysm is in the Area of ​​the heart wall, arrhythmias or weakness of the heart may be signs of a bulging arteries.

On the other hand, an aneurysm is accompanied by severe symptoms if the The vessel wall splits or tears. As a result, the person affected usually feels it at this point very severe and persistent pain. Characteristic of an abdominal aortic aneurysm are, for example, pain in the flanks, which can radiate into the legs or back. In addition, there can also be pain in the lower abdomen. If the aneurysm ruptures freely into the abdomen, there is a great risk of dying from internal bleeding. If an aneurysm in the main artery in the chest area ruptures, severe pain can occur, reminiscent of the symptoms of a heart attack.

Life-threatening and acute cardiac insufficiency can occur when the vascular wall in the aorta near the heart splits, causing bleeding into the pericardium. When aneurysms begin to bleed in the area of ​​the cerebral arteries, it leads to severe and sudden headaches, facial pain and nausea. Under certain circumstances, the person affected can also pass out.

Some aneurysms may not cause symptoms or complications for a lifetime. However, if they are discovered during a routine examination, they are regular check-ups important in order to be able to recognize a change or increase in size of the aneurysm in good time.

Treatment of an aneurysm

These days stand for the treatment of an aneurysm different procedures to disposal. The choice of therapy depends on the size and location of the aneurysm. For example, in the case of an abdominal aortic aneurysm that is less than four centimeters in diameter, in some cases you can first wait and check the course with an annual ultrasound examination. If, on the other hand, the aneurysm is larger than four centimeters, it makes sense to carry out checks every six months.

Operation of an aneurysm

However, most of the time, treatment for an aneurysm involves surgery. The vascular surgeon uses a Vascular prosthesis replaced. Alternatively, he can also insert a stent (a metal tube) into the affected blood vessel to stabilize it.

If the aneurysm is in the head, come with the so-called Coiling or clipping basically two procedures in question. When coiling, the surgeon closes the vascular sac with a platinum coil. In the case of clipping, on the other hand, the vascular sac is closed with a clip.

If the aneurysm is located in the popliteal artery, bypass surgery is usually the treatment option. The surgeon transplants a piece of blood vessel that was previously removed from another part of the body, thereby bypassing the aneurysm.

The basic goal of any therapy for an aneurysm is to protect the affected person To stabilize the vessel wall in this waythat tearing can be excluded.

Exclude risk factors

An important part of aneurysm treatment is also the treatment of possible causes. Especially onehigh blood pressure you should avoid in this context, possibly with the help of medication. Doctors use either ACE inhibitors or beta blockers. In addition, the patient is recommended to avoid all risk factors that can lead to the development of vascular calcifications. A healthy lifestyle as well as the have a positive influence on the condition of the arteries Refrain from nicotine and alcohol. A healthy lifestyle includes, for example, an appropriate body weight, regular physical activity and a balanced diet that consists of lots of vegetables and little animal fats.

It also makes sense for people who suffer from high cholesterol or high blood pressure to have this treated accordingly. If the family already has cases of aneurysms, it is advisable to see a doctor regularly.