An aortic aneurysm is a condition where there is a dilation or enlargement of the aorta greater than 1.5 times the normal size. It is usually asymptomatic until it has grown much bigger or ruptured. It is most commonly located in the abdominal aorta but can also be found in the thoracic aorta.
Aortic aneurysms cause weaknesses in the walls of the aorta, increasing the likelihood of an aortic rupture. When a rupture occurs, there will be massive internal bleeding that can result in shock and death without immediate treatment.
For individuals with a high risk of aortic aneurysms, screening with ultrasound can be performed. Prevention includes quitting smoking. Treatment of an aortic aneurysm is through open or endovascular surgery. In 2013, aortic aneurysms resulted in approximately 152,000 deaths globally.
Symptom #1: Abdominal Pain
Abdominal pain or a stomach ache can be a symptom of serious and nonserious medical issues. The abdomen is divided into nine regions: right hypochondriac, epigastric, left hypochondriac, left lumbar, umbilical, right lumbar, right iliac, suprapubic, and left iliac regions.
The commonest causes of abdominal pain are irritable bowel syndrome, gastroenteritis, and diarrhea. More serious causes of abdominal pain include ectopic pregnancy, appendicitis, and aortic aneurysm. The enlarging of the aneurysm also contributes to the abdominal pain.