Doctor insights on:
Inoperable Aortic Aneurysm
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! ...Read more
"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
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. ...Read more
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 Marfan's or ehlers-danlos which are associated. See a vascular surgeon. ...Read more
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. ...Read more
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). ...Read more
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. ...Read more
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. ...Read more
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. ...Read more
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. ...Read more
No: Be careful if you have an AAA not to lift heavy weights. ...Read more
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. ...Read more
It depends: It depends on your overall health. Typically if the aneurysm is larger than 5 cm the risk of rupture is fairly high about 3-15%. Greater than 6cm about 10-20%. If successfully repaired then your life expectancy returns to near normal. Decision to operate depends on the aortic size and the estimated risk of surgery. ...Read more
No, should not: Elective (means not as in ruptured one) aortic surgery has excellent result, with very low mortality. Recently more and more cases are being done by endovascular stents with out opening abdomen (similar to coronary stents) observation for small aneurysms, surgery only if size is increasing, may be causing anxiety. ...Read more
Not sure.: It is not a particular equipment that is key to rupture of an aortic aneurysm. Rupture can happen even when asleep or at rest. On the other hand, any activity, whether physical or emotional, that suddenly raises blood pressure and heart rate may predispose to rupture. I trust your judgement. Moderation is key. ...Read more
Are there warning signs for an aortic aneurysm? Any ways to prevent one? Is there an exam that shows if you are susceptible to one?
Positive family history,
marfans or connective tissue disease,
no absolute predictors, but good accurate exams and imaging are available.
Aneurysm can affect any part of the aorta - chest, abdomen pelvis and any named vessel!
so full history and exams are relevant. ...Read more
Can young people get aortic aneurysms? What symptoms should one look for? How does one determine whether pains are anxiety or aortic aneurysm?
Yes: Young people can get aortic aneurysms, classically with bicuspid aortic valves, or with other congenital abnormalities (Marfan's disease, or other connective tissue disorders). Most aneurysms are asymptomatic, and found on exam for other issues. Aortic aneurysm pain is variable, and less common. Evaluation by cardiologist/primary physician will help determine if further evaluation needed. ...Read more
I was denied my medical card for my commercial driver license with an aortic aneurysm 4.7. Why isn't it safe to drive a commercial vehicle with this?
The DOT Guidelines: Allow a 1 year card for asymptomatic AAA over 4 but less than 5cm but only with clearance from cardiovascular surgeon. If you have no symptoms and a clearance statement from a cardiovascular surgeon and no other disqualifying conditions then you should be certified for a maximum of 1 year. ...Read more
Pain: Severe pain of chest, back, and abdomen. ...Read more
Can I exercise with aortic aneurysm? My father is in his 70's and had a slight aortic aneurysm. He wants to start exercising in the gym, but I'm concerned it may be dangerous. Are there any particular machines or exercises he should avoid?
Your: Your father should avoid activities that raise the blood pressure excessively. Heavy weight lifting should be avoided at all costs, and he should focus on light aerobic activity such as briskly walking on a treadmill. A good rule of thumb is to exercise just enough to break a light sweat while maintaining the ability to carry on a conversation. I would recommend that he have an exercise stress test with a cardiologist to assess his blood pressure response to exercise and to help develop an exercise prescription. Any chest, back or abdominal pain or pressure with exercise should be taken very seriously and prompt immediate medical attention. ...Read more
Weak wall: The aorta is a living pipe. It has 3 layers, the inner layer or intima, the middle layer or media were some muscle like cells dwell and the adventitia rich in collagen fibers. The process of arteriosclerosis may result in slow death of the media which then gets replaced by collagen scar. The pressure inside the aorta and the wall weakness will result in dilatation of the aorta and it could burst. ...Read more
Depends: An aortic aneurysm can be the result of inherited conditions like marfan's syndrome. Conversley, aortic aneurysms may appear 'de novo' in those without a family history and only clinical risk factors such as atherosclerosis and hypertension. Since the relationship between genetics and environment is complex, if there is a family history one should always be extra vigilant and monitor. ...Read more
Cysticmedialnecrosis: The aorta is a living organ. Has 3 layers. Intima, media, adventitia. The aortic wall is nourished by the vasa vasorum. Arteriosclerosis creates cholesterol plaque, the vasa vasorum occlude, the media slowly dies and becomes replaced by collagenous tissue, pressure and Collagenase activity weaken wall and it dilates excessively, if not repaired claims 17, 000 americans/yr.70%infrarenal. ...Read more