Highly characterized by the ballooning of the aorta wall, abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) had been inflicting 8% of individuals aged 65 specially the male population. When the normal diameter of the abdominal aorta reaches more than 50% of its actual size, it deteriorates the main vessel that carries blood from the heart to the rest of the body. As the blood passes through the aorta, it creates a pressure that pounds the diluted wall and therefore swells and grow like a balloon. Once this swelling worsens, there is a possibility that it will rupture, therefore creating more danger to the person who has it.
So what can one do about Triple A? Before we discuss the possible treatments, let us start first in diagnosing it. How is AAA detected?
In most cases, abdominal aortic aneurysm has no symptoms, making it difficult to be detected. The usual examination is aided by an X-ray. Through this, images of a ballooning can be seen. When a person feels an irregular pulse in his abdomen, he can tell this to the doctor who can then use a stethoscope to listen to rough sounds caused by the abnormality of blood flow within the abdominal aorta or in the aneurysm itself. Ultrasound is also an effective way to detect Triple A. Aside from these health screenings, a person can determine himself the presence of a possible ballooning of the aorta wall. Aside from the irregular pulse in the abdomen, as the aneurysm extends, it will likely result to pain in the abdomen and even in the back.
What to expect after the screening?
There are three possible results that one can expect from the health tests. First is Normal, meaning the size of the aorta is regular (3cm) and no ballooning of the aorta wall is seen. Second is Small Aneurysm which means there’s a small irregularity in the aorta’s normal size wherein it can reach up to 4.4cm. Additionally, those who have an aortic diameter of 4.5-5.4cm is also included in the small aneurysm. Lastly, those who have an aorta size of 5.5cm and above will have the Large Aneurysm result and will be advised to undergo surgery.
Is surgery the solution? Other Possible Treatments for AAA
For those who have do not have a Large Aneurysm, it is suggested not to undergo operation anymore. There are other treatments to choose from. One is watchful waiting. This is suggested to those with small AAA’s. One will just monitor the aneurysm with the supervision of a vascular disease specialist. Also, there’s the interventional repair.
In this type of treatment, interventional radiologists serve as vascular experts who perform invasive treatment. Through imaging, a catheter and graft will be placed inside the patient’s artery. All it takes is a small incision in the groin area wherein the stent graft is inserted to the femoral artery to reach the aortic aneurysm. Through this stent graft, the ballooning of the aorta wall can be solved as it forms new walls within the blood vessel to allow regular blood passage.