Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm
The team at Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix's Cavanagh Heart Center has expertise in diagnosing and treating abdominal aortic aneurysms, a condition that can go undiagnosed until it becomes life-threatening.
Our coordinated approach means our patients receive the care they need, when they need it.
An abdominal aortic aneurysm, also referred to as AAA, occurs when a weakened area in the wall of the aorta (the largest artery in the body) results in an abnormal widening or ballooning greater than 50 percent of its normal size.
Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Causes and Symptoms
There are many risk factors for developing an abdominal aortic aneurysm:
- Gender (men are more likely than women to have this type of aneurysm)
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
There are not always symptoms associated with this condition. However, some people feel pain in the abdomen or back as the ballooned artery places pressure on other abdominal organs. Some may feel pain in their legs if the blood flow has been affected.
It is important to reduce your risk factors. Please consult the experts at Cavanagh Heart Center as soon as possible for a thorough evaluation if you have any symptoms or any number of risk factors.
Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Treatments
Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix's vascular team has extensive experience in dealing with all types of abdominal aneurysms. Some aneurysms may not need to be surgically repaired, while others may require urgent intervention. If the aneurysm is larger than two inches in diameter or quickly increasing in size, surgery is usually recommended.
Our vascular surgeons are all board certified and fellowship trained to provide a variety of treatment procedures:
Open surgical repair - This is almost always used for patients with an abdominal aortic aneurysm bleeding into the body. The vascular surgeon makes an incision to access the aneurysm and then a graft (a manmade, synthetic material) is sewn into place to replace the weakened segment of the artery to keep it from rupturing.
Typically, patients who have an open repair stay in the hospital for five to 10 days. Most patients recover fully within two to three months.
Endovascular endograft (stent graft) repair - This is less invasive than an open surgical repair and typically used for non-emergent repair of an abdominal aortic aneurysm. The cardiologist or surgeon makes a small incision in the femoral artery at the level of the groin and passes a fabric covered metallic stent or “endograft” into the abdominal aortic aneurysm without making an incision on the abdomen. The endograft stays within the aneurysm to protect it from rupture.
Typically patients stay in the hospital for two to three days. Most patients recover quickly, within two to three weeks.
For More Vascular Information
Ask our concierge, (602) 839-2400