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

Publication Review By: the Editorial Staff at

Published: 24 Aug 2011

Last Modified: 07 Oct 2014