An aneurysm is an abnormal bulge or ballooning in your blood vessels.
You may have one of several types of aneurysms, including:
- Aortic aneurysm. An aortic aneurysm forms in your aorta, a major blood vessel that carries blood from the heart to the vital organs of your body. You may not know you have an aneurysm because aneurysms usually don't cause symptoms, even when they are large. A ruptured aneurysm causes internal bleeding and can lead to death. Abdominal aortic aneurysms form along the aorta in the section that passes through the abdomen. Thoracic and thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysms form along the aorta in the section that passes through the chest area, or along the section of the aorta that passes through the chest area and abdomen.
- Brain aneurysm. A brain aneurysm occurs in a blood vessel supplying your brain, usually at branching points of arteries. The weakened area forms a sac or small balloon that fills with blood. Brain aneurysms can rupture and cause bleeding into your brain. Usually this bleeding occurs in the area between your brain and the surrounding membrane (the arachnoid), called the subarachnoid space, causing a subarachnoid hemorrhage. Many small brain aneurysms, especially those located on the arteries in the front part of your brain, have a low risk of rupture. However, ruptured brain aneurysms can lead to stroke and death.
- Peripheral aneurysm. A peripheral aneurysm forms in other blood vessels in your body, including arteries in your legs, groin or neck.
Why choose Mayo Clinic
- Experience. Mayo Clinic doctors have extensive experience in the diagnosis and treatment of all types of aneurysms.
- Teamwork. Doctors trained in heart disease (cardiovascular diseases), brain conditions (neurologists), brain surgery (neurosurgeons), blood vessel surgery (vascular surgeons), heart and lung surgery (cardiothoracic surgeons) and other doctors evaluate and treat people who have aneurysms.
- Efficiency. In Mayo Clinic's efficient system, your diagnosis, testing and treatment usually can be completed within a few days.
- Current research. Mayo Clinic researchers study aneurysm development, monitoring, management and treatment.
Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., is ranked among the Best Hospitals for neurology and neurosurgery and for heart and heart surgery by U.S. News & World Report. Mayo Clinic also ranks among the Best Children's Hospitals in neurology and neurosurgery and for heart and heart surgery.
Read more about abdominal aortic aneurysm, thoracic aortic aneurysm and brain aneurysm at MayoClinic.com.
Related book: Mayo Clinic Healthy Heart for Life! book provides an easy-to-follow plan to prevent and conquer heart disease.