Vascular Surgeon Questions Aortic Aneurysm

Is an aortic aneurysm fixable?

Recently an abdominal aortic aneurysm was detected via abdominal ultrasound and confirmed with CT scan. I am terrified! I had no symptoms. Is this reversible?

17 Answers

Yes. There are effective treatment to all kind of aortic aneurysms and they vary from minimally invasive operation (my favorite ) to hybrid or large open procedures
Aneurysm is a dilatation of the artery, in this case an artery called aorta (abdominal aortic aneurysm, AAA), which is the largest artery in your body. Unfortunately, it is not reversible, but it can be treated very successfully. The size of the of the aneurysm will determine the risk of the potential rupture. If the maximum diameter of the aneurysm on the CT scan is > 5 to 5.5cm, the risk of rupture is dangerous enough so that a treatment will recommended.
Most abdominal aortic aneurysms are asymptomatic. When they become symptomatic they will perforate or rupture which increases mortality significantly. Finding an abdominal aortic aneurysm incidentally is a good thing. It is often found while working up back pain or other causes of abdominal pain. The size and location of the aneurysm often determines management. They can be repaired with an open technique or endovascular technique. Currently endovascular repair has been used more often because it's less invasive and has a lower morbidity and mortality. For younger healthy patients an open repair is sometimes used or with patients who have difficult anatomy not amenable to an endovascular repair. The size of the aneurysm is a predictor of rupture. Aneurysm greater than 6 cm have increase risk of rupture and should be repaired. Most AAA are diagnosed early and they are followed with Abdominal CT scan or Ultrasound. When they reach 5 cm most vascular surgeon will begin planning for repair. This is where excellerated growth begins an the anatomy of the AAA is more favorable for an endovascular repair.
Abdominal aortic aneurysms are enlargements in the major artery coursing through the trunk of your body off of which the arteries to your major abdominal organs originate. The AAA (triple A, but not the one you call for automobile service) is usually the result of atherosclerosis (or plaque) in the wall of this major artery and is a concern when it reaches a certain size as with increasing size there is a risk that it could rupture (or break open and bleed). You don't need to be terrified as it is very easy to measure and follow how large your AAA is on abdominal ultrasound, which is a noninvasive test without needles and just "jelly on your belly." The tech won't be looking for a baby in there, but rather measuring the diameter of your aorta and if it is < 5 cm, will continue to monitor every 6 months to 1 year, unless you develop acute abdominal pain that shoots through to your back or acute weakness and fatigue with nausea and vomiting. In general, many AAAs can be treated without open surgery by placing an endograft (or a large walled tube) inside the aorta, which then directs the blood through that "walled tube" and avoids the blood pressure on the thinned out walls of your native aorta. This procedure is a lot less intense than the surgery used to be for this condition. A trained vascular surgeon can do either an endograft or open surgery for your AAA and although you may still be terrified, you will be in safe hands! The short answer to your question - is it reversible? - no, not really, but fixable, yes, definitely!!

KathyLee Santangelo, MD
He should consider himself lucky that the diagnosis of an aortic aneurysm has been made. Most of the time, this diagnosis is made after it has ruptured and the patient dies. Almost all aortic aneurysms are fixable and in this current state, they oftentimes can be done without a major open operation. This decision has been made by a competent vascular surgeon. Most abdominal aortic aneurysms, with a few exceptions, once they reached 5.5 cm in size for a male or 5 cm for a female should undergo repair. This is why you need to see a vascular surgeon and have this discussed in detail and followed by him. If her aneurysm is under this size and again assuming there are no certain exceptions, regular repeat imaging is required until they reach that size.
Of course, mostly via small groin puncture
An abdominal aortic aneurysm is a condition that will need to be addressed by a qualified vascular surgeon; I can't advise you about specifics because fixing it depends on the location and size of it. However, it is fixable. Please have your primary care physician refer you to a vascular surgeon who performs endovascular aneurysm repairs on a regular basis.
Yes it is fixable, however if it is 4 cm. Or less it can be watched with ultrasound every 6 to 12 months.
The best time to fix it is when you are not symptomatic. Depending on the size, you may just need surveillance right now (< 4.5-5cm) vs. elective repair (which nowadays can be performed minimally invasively, with a very short hospital stay and recovery).
This is not a reversible condition, but certainly a very treatable one, so please get this attended to.
It's not reversible, but if it meets the criteria, it can be fixed. Most aneurysms these days are fixed endovascularly and I do these percutaneously most of the time.
if it is less than 5.5 cm if you are male and less than 5 cm if female, the aneurysm is low risk of causing any issues at all. It is not reversible but certain things can make them grow faster - smoking will make them grow faster and high blood pressure that is not controlled can make them grow faster. Once at appropriate size, a procedure to repair or exclude the aneurysm can be considered. If your aneurysm is at or above stated sizes, you should seek consultation with a vascular surgeon
The aneurysm can usually be fixed by an endovascular stent
Small aneurysms (less than 5cm diameter) rarely rupture. Large aneurysms require treatment. Aortic endografting is usually performed for aortic aneurysm, but open repair is occasionally required.
Yes fixable with surgery
Abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA's) can be life threatening and therefore you need to seek an evaluation by a vascular surgeon. However the risk of having a serious complication from the AAA depends on the size of the aneurysm. I recommend you see a specialist and get peace of mind or a plan of action.
It is recommended to repair abdominal aortic aneurysm once they reach a certain size, if the person with the aneurysm is otherwise healthy. Up until fairly recently, the repair involved a big operation, with a long abdominal incision. Most can now be repaired with a much less invasive procedure.