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               Aortic Aneurysm

Intro

Any time you experience chest pain just not right" in your chest, consult a medical professional.

If you notice a strong pulse sensation, or a pulsating bulge in your abdomen, you should see your health care provider right away.

If the pain is new, severe, frightening, or feels to be tearing or ripping, go immediately to a hospital emergency department. Do not wait it out; immediate treatment can be life saving for aneurysm/dissection as well as in other conditions that cause chest pain.

If an aortic aneurysm ruptures, internal bleeding occurs. This is a medical emergency, because a person can bleed to death in a few minutes.

Severe back, flank, or Abdominal pain  may be the only symptom of an enlarging aorta. Many other conditions can cause these symptoms, but an aortic aneurysm is the most serious of these conditions.

Self-Care at Home

Do not try to treat yourself at home or wait it out. Severe chest, abdominal, or back pain, especially with symptoms that suggest internal bleeding, requires immediate, expert medical attention and rapid diagnosis.

In an estimated 20% of cases, the first sign or symptom of an unrecognized abdominal aortic aneurysm is rupture that leads to sudden death from massive blood loss.

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Prevention

No medicine can prevent an aortic aneurysm. However, measures can be taken that will help keep your blood vessels healthy and strong.

  • Eat a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet.
  • Get active: Take part every day in some activity that increases your heart rate to the rate recommended for your age and overall condition. At least 30 minutes a day is ideal.
  • Don't smoke.
  • Control your blood pressure.

If you are found to have an aortic aneurysm less than 5 cm in size, it should be watched carefully by your primary care provider. Regular ultrasound examinations will detect any growth or other changes in the aneurysm.

Some experts recommend screening for all individuals older than 55 years.

  • Screening would detect many aortic aneurysms that otherwise go unrecognized because they cause no symptoms.
  • Ultrasound examination of the abdomen is more than 80% accurate in screening for the existence of abdominal aortic aneurysm. Physical exam may not detect an aneurysm.

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