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.
- 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.
At Mayo Clinic, we assemble a team of specialists who take the time to listen and thoroughly understand your health issues and concerns. We tailor the care you receive to your personal health care needs. You can trust our specialists to collaborate and offer you the best possible outcomes, safety and service.
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Mayo Clinic doctors trained in brain conditions (neurologists), brain surgeons (neurosurgeons), radiologists trained in brain and brain vessel imaging (neuroradiologists) and other researchers actively study brain aneurysms. Doctors trained in heart disease (cardiologists), doctors trained in blood vessel conditions (vascular medicine specialists) and heart and lung surgeons (cardiac and thoracic surgeons) study aortic and peripheral artery aneurysms. Research focuses on aneurysm development, monitoring, management and treatment. Researchers also study when aneurysms should be treated and when aneurysms may be monitored for any changes. Learn more about cardiovascular diseases research, neurology research and neurosurgery research.
Read about Mayo Clinic advances in elective repair of abdominal aortic aneurysms.
Read more about brain aneurysms in Neurosciences Update.
See a list of Mayo publications on PubMed, a service of the National Library of Medicine.
Dec. 03, 2010