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 about the size of a garden hose. Your aorta carries blood from your heart to your vital organs. You may not know you have an aneurysm because they usually don't cause symptoms, even when they are large. However, an aneurysm can burst (rupture) or split (dissect), causing internal bleeding and often leading to death.

    Abdominal aortic aneurysms form along the aorta in the section that passes through your abdomen. Thoracic aortic aneurysms form along the aorta in the section that passes through your chest area. Thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysms form along the section of the aorta between your 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 small sac or balloon that fills with blood. Brain aneurysms can rupture and cause bleeding into your brain, resulting in a subarachnoid hemorrhage.

    Some small brain aneurysms, especially those located on the arteries in the front part of your brain, have a low risk of rupture. Doctors will assess the size, location and appearance of the aneurysm to clarify the risk of rupture. Medical and family history also can help clarify the risk. Doctors will then compare that risk to the risk of treatment and decide whether to manage or treat the aneurysm.

  • 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 areas work together to 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.

Read more about abdominal aortic aneurysm, thoracic aortic aneurysm and brain aneurysm.

Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., ranks #1 for neurology and neurosurgery in the U.S. News & World report Best Hospitals rankings. Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., is ranked among the Best Hospitals 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 works with hundreds of insurance companies and is an in-network provider for millions of people. In most cases, Mayo Clinic doesn't require a physician referral. Some insurers require referrals or may have additional requirements for certain medical care. All appointments are prioritized on the basis of medical need.

Doctors trained in vascular and endovascular surgery, cardiovascular and thoracic surgery, vascular medicine, cardiovascular diseases, and radiology treat people who have thoracic and abdominal aortic aneurysms at Mayo Clinic in Arizona. Staff in the Vascular Center cares for people who have thoracic and abdominal aortic aneurysms. Doctors trained in neurology, neurosurgery and neuroradiology treat people who have brain aneurysms at Mayo Clinic in Arizona.

For appointments or more information, call the Central Appointment Office at 800-446-2279 (toll-free) 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mountain Standard Time, Monday through Friday or complete an online appointment request form.

Mayo Clinic doctors trained in vascular and endovascular surgery, cardiothoracic surgery, vascular medicine, cardiovascular diseases, and radiology treat people who have abdominal and thoracic aortic aneurysms at Mayo Clinic in Florida. Staff in the Vascular Center cares for people who have abdominal and thoracic aortic aneurysms. Doctors trained in neurology, neurosurgery and neuroradiology treat people who have brain aneurysms at Mayo Clinic in Florida.

For appointments or more information, call the Central Appointment Office at 904-953-0853 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern time, Monday through Friday or complete an online appointment request form.

Doctors trained in vascular and endovascular surgery, cardiovascular surgery, vascular medicine, cardiovascular diseases and radiology treat people who have abdominal and thoracic aortic aneurysms at Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. Staff in the Mayo Clinic Gonda Vascular Center cares for people who have abdominal aortic aneurysms. Staff in the Gonda Vascular Center or in the Marfan and Thoracic Aortic Clinic cares for people who have thoracic aortic aneurysms. Doctors trained in cerebrovascular diseases, neurology, neurosurgery and neuroradiology treat adults and children who have brain aneurysms at Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.

For appointments or more information, call the Central Appointment Office at 507-538-3270 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Central time, Monday through Friday or complete an online appointment request form.

Doctors trained in vascular medicine and vascular surgery treat children who have thoracic aortic aneurysms at the Gonda Vascular Center at Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. Doctors trained in pediatric neurology and neurosurgery treat children who have brain aneurysms at Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. Children needing hospitalization receive care at Mayo Eugenio Litta Children's Hospital at Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.

For appointments or more information, call the Central Appointment Office at 507-538-3270 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Central time, Monday through Friday or complete an online appointment request form.

Please refer to the international appointment section to request appointments via phone.

See information on patient services at the three Mayo Clinic locations, including transportation options and lodging.

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 more about brain aneurysms in Neurosciences Update.

Publications

See a list of publications on PubMed, a service of the National Library of Medicine.

Mar. 27, 2014