Cardiovascular Aneurysm Treatment

Tests, Treatments and Therapies

Overview

An aneurysm is a bulging, weakened area in the wall of a blood vessel, usually an artery. Aneurysms can expand like a balloon as the walls of the artery become thinner. The larger an aneurysm becomes, the greater the risk for rupture (bursting), which can result in life-threatening bleeding. Risk factors for aneurysm include older age, high cholesterol, smoking, diabetes, family history and high blood pressure.

The most common location of an aneurysm is the aorta, the largest artery, which carries oxygenated blood from the heart to the body. Aortic aneurysms may be thoracic – located in the segment of the aorta in the chest cavity, or abdominal – in the part of the aorta that runs through the abdomen.

An aneurysm may also be located in the blood vessels of the brain (cerebral aneurysm). Aneuyrisms can also develop in the blood vessels of the neck, the intestines, the kidney, the spleen or the legs.

When caught in time, aneurysms can be treated with surgery. A variety of techniques, including newer, less invasive procedures, can arrest the growth of aneurysms, repair the affected blood vessel, and, most important, prevent rupture and bleeding.