What is the difference between aortic aneurysm and a regular aorta?

Cystic medial necros. Cystic medial necrosis weakens the arterial wall and the blood pressure inside the aorta dilates the aorta. Aneurysmal dilatation of the aorta occurs until eventual rupture may occur.
Ballooning. In an aneurysm, a segment of the aorta dilates or balloons out. We measure the diameter of the blood vessel to see how severe that ballooning is. There is a weak area in the artery and as the artery expands, the risk that it could rupture increases.
A buldge. When a weak area of the abdominal aorta expands or bulges, it is called an abdominal aortic aneurysm (aaa). The pressure from blood flowing through your abdominal aorta can cause a weakened part to bulge, much like a balloon. A normal aorta is about 1 inch in diameter. However, an AAA can stretch the aorta beyond its safety margin as it expands. AAA are a risk because of rupture (usually 5-5.5 cm).
Size. A true aneurysm is dilatation of a blood vessel one and half times normal size. For the aorta the normal size varies between different segments, age and gender. For example abdominal aorta below the kidney arteries measures around 1.8-2 cm in diameter in young males .. So it will become an aneurysm at 3 cm size.

Related Questions

Is there a difference between a thoracic aneurysm and a thoracic aortic aneurysm?

No. A thoracic aneurysm is an aneurysm of the thoracic aorta....More importantly...Whether the aneurysm involves the ascending or descending or entire thoracic aorta makes some difference in treatment. Read more...

I know that aortic aneurysm is a general term for swelling of the aorta. How does this affect my blood flow?

Risky. Blood flow may not be affected by an aneurysms which is a swelling out of the aorta. However, these areas can burst suddenly and become a life threatening when reaching critical growth. They should be followed closely by your physician. Agressive cholesterol and blood pressure control can help retard the growth. Read more...
Blood flow unaffecte. Main risk of aortic aneursym is rupture with increasing size. Rarely blood flow may be impaired with thrombus or blood clot formation in abdominal aneursym. Read more...
Occlusion. When an aneurysm gets larger the blood will form layered thrombus or clot inside the aneurysm against the wall , this can cause emboli or clots downstream or narrow the artery and occlude it. Read more...

My mother has ascending aortic aneurysm size of aorta 3.7cm. She is traveling from india to usa next week. What are the risks? Should she not travel?

Impossible to answer. Since an aneurysm can rupture or dissect at any time or not at all, there is no way to predict the complications. I don't think air travel per se increases the risk for the complications but certainly if they do come there will be no immediate treatment available. You and she will have to discuss the risk however small. Read more...

My dad had an aortic aneurysm and had his aorta repaired. He says he's experiencing a burning sensation in his stomach now. What could it be?

Several possibilitie. Assuming his aneurysm repair was performed by a large abdominal incision, the burning could be related to the incision, the stitches used to close the incision, or adhesions inside the abdomen which occur after this operation. If the repair was through the groin and placing a stent graft, this answer would not apply. Need more information. Read more...
Probably not his AAA. A burning sensation in the stomach is usually due to reflux or heartburn. This is very common and not related to the repair; however, if he is concerned, he should discuss it with his doctor. Read more...