Blood vessels are very important as it transports blood to all parts of the body. Body tissues rely on its functionality by transporting nutrients and oxygen to tissues. The biggest artery in the body is the aorta. This is a tube that supplies blood to the entire body, except the lungs. It supplies the heart, head, neck, arms, chest, and lower abdomen for blood.
It is important that nothing is blocking the blood flow, if there is a blockage then this is a life-threatening problem, like the Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm.
What is the Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm?
Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm is an unusual bulging of the aorta in the lower part of the abdominal area. This is like a small balloon on the lower part of the aorta that can be life-threatening as the bleeding is inside.
People can have it as it usually happens with men, overweight people, 60 years old and above, people who smoke cigarettes and tobacco. Furthermore, if there is a family history of heart condition, has high cholesterol, and a sedentary lifestyle it most likely to occur as well.
Types of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms
Identified usually by its size and the growth pace. Here are the two size factors that determine abdominal aortic aneurysms:
- Small (< 5.5 centimeters): identified to have a small and has slow growth. Seen as a better monitoring state for assessment using abdominal ultrasounds.
- Large (> 5.5 centimeters): this condition can lead to breaking the balloon and put the person on great risk as it leaks. The bigger the aneurysm the higher is the case for surgery.
It is difficult to determine the symptoms of this condition. As a lot of things happen from the inside; aneurysms don’t tear, it stays small for a long time, and has slow expansion. Here are some inputs that may help according to research:
- Constant Pain on the abdomen: since the lower aorta’s location is on the abdomen the pain’s focus is there.
- Back Pain: feeling pressure and pain on the back may be the effect of the unwell condition in the aorta. This pain could spread to the pelvis, legs, and buttocks area.
- Pulse within the Navel: feeling some unusual beat on the navel part of the abdomen it may be a sign of the condition. Also, an infrequent increase of heart rate combined with the navel pulse may be a sign to remember.
Causes of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm
It is important to note that an aneurysm may develop anywhere along the aorta, but it is common to see it on the lower part. These are some factors that may influence the development of abdominal aortic aneurysm:
- Smoking: the consumption of tobacco and cigarette may damage the aorta, as it contains many chemicals that are very hazardous to health. For example, nicotine is a chemical that narrows blood vessels. The narrowed blood vessels increase blood pressure leading to heart disease.
- Heredity: this is the passing of one feature to their offspring as part of the genetic growth. In this case, the abdominal aortic aneurysm is inherited from parents or ancestors.
- Hardened Arteries: this increases the risk of blood flow blockage, as the fat and other substances combine to create a narrow blood vessel. This makes hard for the blood to circulate around the body.
- High blood pressure: as the blood vessels get narrowed blood is having a hard time to pass through and circulate. Because of this much blood stuck on some areas it balloons and damages the aorta’s walls.
Diagnosis of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms
Diagnosis of the body is important to assess and identify in what stage does an aneurysm is, or maybe to discover that one has aneurysms. Here are some of the tests that are being used for determining aneurysm:
- Abdominal and Pelvic computed tomography: an accurate exam that defines the size and range of an aneurysm.
- Angiography: this exam produces pictures of the major blood vessels of the body identified through x-rays, CT or MRI.
Treatment and Prevention
The abdominal aortic aneurysm is hard to detect, hence the treatment depends on its size and area. Other important factors are considered like age, historical health background, kidney function, and other relevant information. Here are two treatments used for this condition:
- Endovascular Surgery: this process uses a catheter; a thin tube used for surgical operations, and inserts it in an artery. Ones inside it go through it till it reaches an aneurysm; ones it is there small hooks are released to remove the subject.
- Traditional Surgical Repair: this process does an incision on the abdomen as the damaged part is cut and replaced by a stent graft. This takes a longer recovery time and is done when an aneurysm is already broken and leaking.
Preventive measures for aneurysms
- Stop Smoking: it reduces the amount of nicotine chemical staying inside the body that damages organs, tissues, and arteries.
- Healthy Living: one simple way of preventing this to happen is to oversee the foods consumed. Another is to do exercise and avoid risky activities that will damage the body, smoking.
- Lower Cholesterol: eating healthy is important to maintain a healthy body. With low cholesterol levels, it prevents the body from experiencing other diseases.