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Doctor insights on: Inoperable Aortic Aneurysm

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What kind of life expectatncy would you give a 75 year old who have inoperable aortic aneurysm.?

What kind of life expectatncy would you give a 75 year old who have inoperable aortic aneurysm.?

Why inoperable?: If bad heart, lungs, cancer etc. Those conditions may determine survival. Aneurysms may be in different parts of the aorta. But for abdominal: symptomatic and 6 cm survival about a year less and asymptomatic about 5 years as a good guess. Size, location and symptoms, and other risk factors are relevant to true answer!

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Dr. Mario Matos-Cruz
941 Doctors shared insights

Aortic Aneurysm (Definition)

"Aneurysm" has scary implications for many people. It just means an enlargement of an artery. The problem is that when arteries (including the aorta) get too large, their walls become weak and prone to tear (dissection) or rupture. If this happens in the aorta it can be a catastrophe. Management of aortic aneurysms depends on where it is, how big, whether it's growing, ...Read more


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Where is an aortic aneurysm?

Where is an aortic aneurysm?

The aorta: The aorta is the large, main artery that carries blood from the heart. An aneurysm (a portion that dilates or expands to a larger than normal diameter) can occur anywhere along its length, from where it emerges from the heart in the chest (thoracic aortic aneurysm) to where it travels through the abdomen & splits into the iliac arteries (abdominal aortic aneurysm, or aaa) - or anywhere between.

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What is an acute aortic aneurysm?

What is an acute aortic aneurysm?

Dilated aorta: An aortic aneurysm is an aorta which is larger than it is supposed to be. "acute" refers to the sudden onset of symptoms. The aneurysm can cause pain by suddenly enlarging, encroaching on surrounding parts of the chest or abdomen, or rupturing.

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What could lead to an aortic aneurysm?

What could lead to an aortic aneurysm?

Aortic Aneurysms: It is not entirely clear exactly what causes aortic aneurysms, but we know of a few risk factors, probably the most significant of which is smoking. Other risk factors include atherosclerosis and high blood pressure. There is also a hereditary component, so these can run in families. There are also genetic syndromes such as marfans or ehlers-danlos which are associated. See a vascular surgeon.

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What are the tests for aortic aneurysm?

What are the tests for aortic aneurysm?

Ultrasound: A high quality abdominal ultrasound is the best test to exclude an abdominal aortic aneurysm. Don't delay and get checked out today! Good luck!

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What are symptoms of an aortic aneurysm?

What are symptoms of an aortic aneurysm?

Often there are none: Over 75% of aortic aneurysms are found while tests are performed for another reason. Other aneurysms are found after a thoughtful physical exam raises a suspicion for AAA and a subsequent ultrasound identifies the problem. Screening exam programs are very effective, non-invasive, and inexpensive.

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What are the symptoms of aortic aneurysm?

Depends: You may not have any symptoms from an aneurysm until it is too late. If you have a family history or even a suspicion of having an aneurysm it is worth having this checked.

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What sort of problem is an aortic aneurysm?

What sort of problem is an aortic aneurysm?

Serious: Aortic aneurysm indicates ballooning of the aorta which could burst if it exceeds certain diameter between 5-5.5 cm.

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What are the symptoms of an aortic aneurysm?

What are the symptoms of an aortic aneurysm?

Typically non: Most of them are asymptomatic. Abdominal aortic aneurysm can cause mid abdominal and back pain sometimes. Severe pain and fever if infected. Unusually emboli or clots to legs and ischemia. Thoracic aortic aneurysm may cause back pain, or compression on structure like esophagous (difficulty swallowing), trachea or bronchus (difficulty breathing) or nerves like recurrent laryngeal nerve (horesness).

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Aortic aneurysm same as dissection?

Aortic aneurysm same as dissection?

No: Aneurysm is the dilation of your artery that can rupture if it gets too big overtime. A dissection is when the layers of your artery separate - generally associated with traumatic injuries (blunt or sharp), it is usually an acute event. Sometimes you can see dissection when the aneurysm starts to leak. Make friend with a vascular surgeon.

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Can smoking lead to aortic aneurysm?

Can smoking lead to aortic aneurysm?

Arteriosclerosis: Cigarrette smoking accelerates the process of arteriosclerosis which in turn results in atheroma formation with its multiple consequences depending on location. In the aorta it results in cystic medial necrosis leading to aneurysmal dilatation or the opposite, arteriosclerosis obliterans.

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Can echo pick up abd aortic aneurysm?

Can echo pick up abd aortic aneurysm?

No: An echo will typically not look for abdominal aortic aneurysm. Some sonographers do but not standard practice.

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What could cause an aortic aneurysm to burst?

What could cause an aortic aneurysm to burst?

Ruptured aneurysm: An abdominal aneurysm can rupture for many reasons. Most common is size. As the aneurysm enlarges the wall gets weaker. We know that aneurysms over 5 cm have a higher rupture rate and those should be operated on electively. Other factors making rupture more likely would be uncontrolled high blood pressure and infection in the wall of aneiurysm.

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Can lifting cause an aortic aneurysm to rupture?

Can lifting cause an aortic aneurysm to rupture?

Yes: Lifting or any kind of strenuous exercise will increase the blood pressure. If this happens in a sudden fashion then conceivably the aneurysm can rupture. A lot depends on the size of the aneurysm as well.

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Will diverticulitis aggravate an aortic aneurysm?

Will diverticulitis aggravate an aortic aneurysm?

No, but: Diverticulitis is not related to aortic aneurysm. However, if there is constipation, would suggest a good bowel regimen to avoid excessive straining.

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What does it mean when an aortic aneurysm ruptures?

What does it mean when an aortic aneurysm ruptures?

It bursts: The wall of the aorta tears because of increased pressure from the expanding aneurysm. Ruptures can be "contained, " with the bleeding confined by the lining of the abdominal cavity, or they can be "free ruptures, " when the bleeding occurs into the abdominal cavity. The second type is more deadly. Mortality with ruptured aneurysms is 50-90%. As many as 50% of people die before reaching the hospital.

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Ideas? What pain is associated with an aortic aneurysm?

None: Aortic aneurysms don't cause pain. If they dissect (in the chest) or rupture (in the abdomen), they're very painful.

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How will having aortic aneurysm affect me down the road?

Depends: It depends on location and cause. Aneurysms are at risk for two major complications- rupture and dissection (which can lead to rupture or other problems such has blockage of other arteries or stroke). How quickly an aneurysm grows and the risk of rupture is related to underlying cause and annual or biannual imaging will be indicated to track the size.

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Aorta (Definition)

The aorta is the largest artery in the body, leaving directly from the left ventricle of the heart to supply blood to the entire body. It is made of elastic tissue layers called "intima" and is subject to damage by high blood pressure, smoking, cholesterol, ...Read more


Dr. Shadi Abu Halimah
1,396 Doctors shared insights

Aneurysm (Definition)

An aneurysm is an abnormally dilated blood vessel, usually defined as a diameter 2x normal or larger. As weakened vessels get larger, there is risk of potential ...Read more