Unfortunately, aneurysms seldom cause symptoms until they’re large enough to rupture. If you have risk factors such as smoking, high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, or diabetes, you can protect yourself with aneurysm screening. The experienced specialists at Vascular Surgery Associates, LLC, can evaluate your risks, perform diagnostic ultrasound on site, develop a customized treatment plan, and repair your aneurysm when needed. To schedule an appointment, use the online booking feature today or call one of the offices in Bel Air, Baltimore, Towson, Westminster, Elkton, Frederick, Ellicott City, Hampstead, Abingdon, and Lutherville, Maryland.
An aneurysm refers to an abnormal widening in a small area of a blood vessel. This condition can occur in arteries and veins but most often affects arteries.
You develop an aneurysm when a localized area of the vessel wall becomes weak and thins out. As blood flows through the vessel and pushes against the site, it creates a balloon-like bulge.
Some aneurysms stay small, while others get progressively larger. The rate at which they enlarge varies in each person, but once the bulge gets too large, the blood vessel wall can burst or rupture.
The different types of aneurysms include:
The aorta runs from your heart, through your chest, and down through the center of your abdomen. An abdominal aortic aneurysm occurs in the artery as it goes through your stomach.
This type of aneurysm develops in the aorta, where it passes through your chest.
Peripheral aneurysms occur in arteries other than the aorta, including the carotid arteries carrying blood to your brain and the arteries serving your pelvis, legs, and arms.
Visceral aneurysms appear in the arteries delivering blood to your liver, kidneys, and intestines.
A cerebral aneurysm affects the vessels in your brain.
Aneurysms don’t cause symptoms until they get large enough to rupture. A large aneurysm may cause pain before it ruptures, however.
Once an aneurysm ruptures, the vessel bleeds out, and you need immediate emergency treatment. The symptoms of a ruptured aneurysm include:
Except for pain, these symptoms occur as internal bleeding leads to a fast drop in your blood pressure.
Your provider at Vascular Surgery Associates, LLC, takes a watchful waiting approach to small aneurysms. They monitor the bulge with regular ultrasounds to verify its size and determine the rate at which it enlarges.
You also receive treatment for underlying conditions that contribute to aneurysms, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes.
Once the aneurysm reaches a specific size, your provider repairs it with a minimally invasive endovascular procedure or open surgery.
During endovascular repair, they insert a stent graft. Treatment during open surgery includes removing the aneurysm and inserting a tube-shaped artificial graft.
To learn more about your risk for an aneurysm, call Vascular Surgery Associates, LLC, or book an appointment online today.