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Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms


Abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA) are caused by progressive weakening of the aortic wall that causes a “ballooning” of the vessel. The aorta carries blood flow from the heart to all parts of the body including the vital organs and the legs and feet.

The aneurysm will grow larger and eventually rupture if it is not diagnosed and treated.  A ruptured AAA carries an 80-90% risk of death.  That is why recognizing this disease BEFORE it gets too large is so important.   

AAA screening can identify these deadly aneurysms before they grow to a stage where they are likely to rupture.

If screening identifies an aortic aneurysm, regular interval aortic ultrasound in the vascular lab should be performed to follow the size of the aneurysm over time.  Most aneurysms are followed and treated with stents or surgery after they grow to greater than 5 centimeters in diameter.

 3.9 cm Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm  Abdominal aneurysm with mural thrombus

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