What is an aneurysm?
weakened area of a blood vessel expands or bulges to any significant degree, it is called an aneurysm. Such bulges stem from a weakness or defect in the wall of the aorta and tend to grow bigger over time.
greatest danger is that the aneurysm will burst or rupture, causing uncontrollable bleeding or hemorrhaging. If the internal bleeding is serious enough, it can result in shock or even death.
Types of Aneurysms
Most aneurysms take place in the aorta, your body's main artery and the one that carries blood away from your heart to the rest of your body.
Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms (AAA)
When aneurysms are located on the part of the aorta found in your abdomen, they are called
abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA). About three-quaters of aortic aneurysms occur in the abdominal area.
Thoracic Aortic Aneurysms (TAA)
When such bulges are found on the part of the aorta that goes through your chest, they are called
thoracic aortic aneurysms (TAA). About one-quarter of aortic aneurysms occur in the thoracic region.
Aneurysms can also occur in other arteries:
Popliteal artery which runs down the back of your lower thigh and knee, or, less commonly,
Femoral artery of your groin,
Carotid artery of your neck, or
- Sometimes in the
arteries of your arms.
These are called
peripheral aneurysms. Such aneurysms are less likely than aortic aneurysms to burst, but they may cause dangerous blood clots or other problems.
Aneurysms may also occur in the
brain, called cerebral aneurysms.
Who treats aneurysms?
- Thoracic aortic aneurysms are generally treated by
- Abdominal aortic and peripheral aneurysms are usually treated by
- Cerebral aneurysms are typically treated by
- The combination of thoracic and abdominal aneurysms is usually treated by cardiac and vascular surgeons working together.