Manhattan Physician Recommends Screening for Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms
Essentially, Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms (AAA) occur when the lining of the aortic blood vessel is enlarged within the abdomen. AAA’s have a high proclivity to tearing and therefore must be monitored periodically as part of a rupture prevention program.
The aorta is the major blood vessel in our body that supplies blood. It runs from the heart through the center to the chest and abdomen. Since it is the primary supplier of blood, a ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm could result in life-threatening bleeding.
The treatment of abdominal aortic aneurysm can vary depending on the size and the rate at which it is growing. However, if an abdominal aortic aneurysm is found in a patient, doctors will choose to closely monitor it just so they are able to plan a surgery if and when required. This is important because emergency surgery for this condition can be quite risky.
Abdominal aortic aneurysms often have no symptoms. While some never rupture, there may be others that expand quickly and become really enlarged. Some major symptoms when an abdominal aortic aneurysm enlarges include a pulsating feeling around the navel area, a deep constant pain in the abdominal area and back pain. If you observe any of these symptoms, you should consult a physician.
There are certain risk factors for developing this condition including smoking and family history. Males between 65 to 75 years of age and who have smoked cigarettes should have a one-time screening.
Dr. Gafanovich screens for abdominal aortic aneurysms at her Upper East Side office. It is a painless process using ultrasound technology to “take a picture” of the blood vessels of the abdomen. Her technicians measure your aorta using the transducer and takes readings that can be measured against “normal” or your previous exam/screen.