What is Aneurysm?
An aneurysm is a ballooned artery, a type of arterial disease. An artery is an elastic blood vessel that transports blood away from the heart. The aorta is the largest artery in the body, running from your heart through the centre of your chest and abdomen, distributing blood to all parts of the body. Aneurysms can occur anywhere along the aorta, but when they develop in the upper part of the aorta, they are called thoracic aortic aneurysms. Rarely, an aneurysm develops in between the upper and lower parts of your aorta called a thoracic abdominal aneurysm. The most common aneurysm occurs at the lower part of the aorta. An abdominal aortic aneurysm is a weakened and protruding found in the lower part of the aorta. As the aorta is the body’s primary provider of blood, an abdominal aortic aneurysm bursting and bleeding can be life threatening.
Most small and slow-growing abdominal aortic aneurysms do not rupture. However large, fast-growing abdominal aortic aneurysms may enlarge to more than 1.5 times of its normal diameter and rupture. Depending on the size and speed at which the aortic aneurysm is growing, medical procedures may differ from careful monitoring to emergency surgical procedure. When an abdominal aortic aneurysm is diagnosed, the doctor will closely examine it so that surgical treatment can be done if it is required.
What causes Aneurysm?
Patients with a family history, hypertension and high cholesterol and those beyond the age of 65 have a higher risk of developing this condition. Although the exact cause of abdominal aortic aneurysms is unknown, a number of factors may increase your risk, including:
Symptoms of Aneurysm
Aneurysms develop slowly over many years and often have no symptoms. If an aneurysm grows quickly, ruptures, or blood leaks along the wall of the artery (aortic dissection), symptoms may develop suddenly.
The symptoms of rupture include:
Diagnosis of Aneurysm
The doctor will examine your abdomen. The examination also will include an evaluation of pulses in your legs. The doctor may find:
Should I seek treatment for Aneurysm?
Treatment for aneurysm depends on individual cases.
Small aneurysm of less than 4cm.
Medium aneurysm measuring between 4 and 5.5 cm.
Aneurysms bigger than 5.5 cm and aneurysms that are growing quickly. The doctor may recommend you to perform surgery before complications or symptoms develop.
There are two approaches to surgery:
Why choose EVAR treatments by our doctor?
The aorta is the largest artery in the body and it can involve many parts of the human body, as your arteries bring nutrients to important organs. It is important for an experienced surgeon to do the procedure as it involves the functioning of your organs. Our vascular surgeon in Singapore, is currently a regional proctor for simple and complex stenting EVAR procedures. He has been involved in teaching and training doctors in the region in this life-saving procedure and has helped doctors in Vietnam kick-start this procedure in their own hospitals. This minimally invasive method does not require General Anaesthesia and shortens the patient’s ICU stay.