Overview

An abdominal aortic aneurysm is an enlarged area in the lower part of the aorta, the major blood vessel that supplies blood to the body. The aorta, about the thickness of a garden hose, runs from your heart through the center of your chest and abdomen.

Because the aorta is the body's main supplier of blood, a ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm can cause life-threatening bleeding.

Depending on the size and the rate at which your abdominal aortic aneurysm is growing, treatment may vary from watchful waiting to emergency surgery.

Once an abdominal aortic aneurysm is found, doctors will closely monitor it so that surgery can be planned if it's necessary. Emergency surgery for a ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm can be risky.

Abdominal aortic aneurysm care at Mayo Clinic

March 23, 2016
References
  1. AskMayoExpert. Abdominal aortic aneurysm (adult). Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2014.
  2. AskMayoExpert. Abdominal aortic aneurysm: Signs and symptoms. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2014.
  3. What is an aneurysm? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/arm. Accessed Nov. 11, 2015.
  4. Aortic aneurysms. The Society of Thoracic Surgeons. http://www.sts.org/patient-information/aneurysm-surgery/aortic-aneurysms. Accessed Nov. 11, 2015.
  5. Abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA). Merck Manual Professional Version. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/cardiovascular-disorders/diseases-of-the-aorta-and-its-branches/abdominal-aortic-aneurysms-aaa. Accessed Nov. 11, 2015.
  6. Screening for abdominal aortic aneurysm: Consumer guide. U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. http://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/Page/Document/UpdateSummaryFinal/abdominal-aortic-aneurysm-screening. Accessed Nov. 11, 2015.
  7. Mohler ER. Epidemiology, risk factors, pathogenesis and natural history of abdominal aortic aneurysm. http:www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Nov. 11, 2015.
  8. Jim J, et al. Clinical features and diagnosis of abdominal aortic aneurysm. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Nov. 11, 2015.
  9. AskMayoExpert. Abdominal aortic aneurysm: Treatment. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2014.
  10. Collins KA. Overview of abdominal aortic aneurysm. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Nov. 11, 2015.
  11. The American Heart Association's diet and lifestyle recommendations. American Heart Association. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/NutritionCenter/HealthyEating/The-American-Heart-Associations-Diet-and-Lifestyle-Recommendations_UCM_305855_Article.jsp#.Vk-mAdiFPmI. Accessed Nov. 20, 2015.
  12. Riggin ER. Allscripts EPSi. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Oct. 21, 2015.
  13. Gloviczki P (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Feb. 22, 2016.
  14. Cook AJ. Allscripts EPSi. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Feb. 24, 2016.