Aneurysm Definition : What Is An Aneurysm?

What is an aneurysm?

An aneurysm is a weak and wide portion of an artery. It looks like a balloon filled with blood. An aneurysm is usually due to atherosclerosis, but it can also be the result of another disease. Aneurysms are most common in men over 60 years. Smoking and high blood pressure increase the risk.

Aneurysms usually in the abdominal aorta. Such aneurysm is called a AAA: aneurysms of the abdominal aorta. But also in other arteries, they can occur. For example, in arteries in the groin, in the knees and in the brains.

An aneurysm usually produces little or no symptoms. Therefore, doctors often do not find it or accidentally. The most common symptoms of an aneurysm is a mild pain and throbbing sensations.

There may be complications in an aneurysm. The main danger is that the aneurysm ruptures. This occurs especially in large aneurysm in the abdominal artery. The treatment is then a surgery. In this operation, the surgeon replaces the too wide part of the artery by a piece of plastic material (a stent).

 An aneurysm is a weak and wide portion of an artery Aneurysm Definition : What Is An Aneurysm?

Dangers when an aneurysm

Most people with an aneurysm notice it. But two things can go wrong when an aneurysm:
  1. In an aneurysm, blood clots occur. They can come loose and cause thrombosis.
  2. The blood clots can grow so strong that the entire aneurysm is full. Then they cause arterial thrombosis.
  3. An aneurysm can be so strong that it rips open. This happens especially if an aneurysm in the abdominal artery (aorta) sits. You will then internal bleeding and needs immediate surgery. For a ruptured aneurysm people feel severe pain, usually in the abdomen, back and side. The blood loss may result in a shock. Only one in four people survive a ruptured aneurysm. Therefore large aneurysm surgery before they can rupture. In a ruptured aneurysm in the brains there is a brain hemorrhage.

Aneurysm treatment

Most aneurysms do not have to be operated on. As long as the aneurysm is small, the probability that the tearing open is small. It is important that your blood pressure remains low. When necessary you will receive medication for this. You also get medications to slow the growth of the aneurysm.

If you have an aneurysm in the abdomen then you have every six months or every year with your family doctor or specialist come in for an ultrasound. The general practitioner or specialist can so see if the aneurysm gets larger.

The aneurysm is too big then you need to be operated on. The surgeon replaces the too wide part of the artery by a piece of plastic artery (a stent). There are two ways to do this:
  • An open abdominal surgery. To do this, the surgeon makes a cut in the breast bone down to the pubic bone. This is a major operation. There is a lot of blood loss. The operation is hard on your heart and your kidneys. After surgery you stay a few days in the intensive care unit and then for about two weeks on a normal ward. It takes three to six months before you are feeling completely fit. The first six weeks, you should be careful when lifting, coughing and pressing, due to the wound in your abdomen.
  • An endovascular treatment. Here, the doctor does not need to cut open your belly. The surgeon moves through the groin a folded piece of plastic vein in your veins. Using x-ray she puts it firmly in the right place. This surgery is less stressful and you recover faster. Unfortunately, this treatment is not suitable for everyone. Another disadvantage is that people after this operation for a long time to come back for control.

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