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PATIENT RESOURCES:

Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm


Pathophysiology
The abdominal aorta runs through your abdomen from your heart. The aorta may become damaged
through atherosclerosis, which is the build-up of plaque and narrowing of the vessel. The damage of the
vessel creates increasing pressure on the vessel (like a bubble) and can lead it to burst. A burst vessel can
cause massive bleeding and become life threatening.

Risk Factors
Tobacco use, excess weight, male gender, age (Males >50/Females >60), cardiovascular disease, high blood
pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, hardening of arteries (atherosclerosis), trauma (i.e. car accident), family

(DVT)

(fast heart rate)

(bloody stools)

yellowing of skin/eyes)

Management

possible rupture of the aneurysm.

• Aneurysm monitoring and frequent follow-up appointments are needed to discuss symptoms, control risk
factors and undergo imaging to determine aneurysm size and growth rate;
• Depending on the size of the aneurysm, the frequency of the follow-up appointments will vary;
• Size of the aneurysm is the most common indicator when determining whether or not to procced with
surgery
• Aneurysms are not typically surgically repaired unless the size is greater than 5.5 cm in diameter (men);

• Family history of AAA • Growth rate of aneurysm


• Aneurysm rupture
• Type of aneurysm - Saccular

Open Abdominal Surgery and Endovascular Surgery