How Aortic Aneurysm Is Treated
- Have regular physical exams to detect an aortic aneurysm before it has a chance to rupture. Your doctor may recommend x-rays and angiography to determine the size and location of an aneurysm if one is suspected.
- If an aneurysm is detected, your doctor may recommend watching and waiting (especially if it is small), since aneurysms tend to grow very slowly.
- Your doctor may prescribe a beta-blocking medication. Beta-blockers decrease blood pressure and the force of the heart’s contraction, thus reducing pressure against the walls of the aorta.
- Periodic ultrasound examinations are used to follow the expansion of an aneurysm over time.
- Certain aneurysms require immediate treatment, often involving surgical removal of the affected portion of the artery and replacement with a synthetic arterial graft. Surgery may also be required if an aneurysm is causing pain, is larger than six centimeters, or is rapidly expanding.
When to Call a Doctor
- Call a doctor if you experience symptoms of an aortic aneurysm.
- See your doctor regularly if you suffer from high blood pressure or high cholesterol, each a major risk factor for the different types of aneurysm.
Johns Hopkins Symptoms and Remedies: The Complete Home Medical Reference
Simeon Margolis, M.D., Ph.D., Medical Editor
Prepared by the Editors of The Johns Hopkins Medical Letter: Health After 50
Updated by Remedy Health Media