Diagnosis of AAA
Because of the lack of obvious symptoms, many aneurysms are detected when a patient is being tested for unrelated reasons. An ultrasound and/or CAT scans is then used to confirm the presence and measure the aneurysm size.
A treatment plan is created based on the size, location, and shape of the aneurysm.
Treatment of AAA
Your healthcare provider will develop the best treatment option for you based on your medical history and the severity of the condition. Small aneurysms (less than 5 cm in diameter) are usually observed conservatively to determine the rate of growth. A vascular specialist will consider the surgical repair of an aneurysm if the following conditions are present:
- Greater than 5 cm in diameter
- Greater than two times the size of a normal aorta
- Aneurysm size increases at a rapid pace
- Patient experiences symptoms
The surgical repair options for abdominal aortic aneurysms include:
- Endovascular Stent Graft: During this procedure, a vascular surgeon places a stent inside the aneurysm through a small incision in the groin. The blood flows through the stent and the aneurysm shrinks around it. (Not everyone is a candidate for endovascular repair since the size, shape, and location of the aneurysm needs to be taken into consideration.)
- Open, Surgical Repair: If the aneurysm is not suitable for endovascular repair, a vascular surgeon will replace the diseased segment of the aorta with a bypass graft using an open abdominal incision.