Aortic Aneurysm

Vascular Specialists

Vascular Surgeons located in Tinley Park, IL & Evergreen Park, IL

As the largest artery in your body, your aorta has the important job of pumping oxygen-rich blood from your heart and throughout your entire vascular system. At Vascular Specialists in Tinley Park, Illinois and Munster, Indiana, the team specializes in diagnosing aortic aneurysms early and helping you manage them to avoid a rupture. To learn more about aortic aneurysms and how treatment works, call Vascular Specialists or book an appointment online today.

Aortic Aneurysm Q & A

What is an aortic aneurysm?

An aneurysm occurs when the walls of one of your blood vessels bulge abnormally. An aortic aneurysm happens when an aneurysm affects your aorta, which is the largest artery in your body. 

Your aorta pumps blood away from your heart and runs through both your abdomen and your chest. For this reason, you can develop an abdominal aortic aneurysm or a thoracic (chest) aortic aneurysm. An aortic aneurysm on any part of your aorta can take one of two forms depending on the shape:

Fusiform aneurysm

A fusiform aneurysm is tube-shaped and uniform, affecting all sides of a blood vessel.

Saccular aneurysm

A saccular aneurysm is lop-sided and only forms on one side of a blood vessel. 

The team at Vascular Specialists uses vascular ultrasound imaging to diagnose your aneurysm and its type.

What are the symptoms of an aortic aneurysm?

Early diagnosis is key to the successful treatment of an aortic aneurysm, so it’s important to be familiar with the symptoms. Getting an early diagnosis and starting treatment as soon as possible greatly reduces your chances of an aneurysm rupture. Your symptoms depend on the location of your aortic aneurysm along the aorta: 

Thoracic aortic aneurysm

An aortic aneurysm in your chest region can cause pain in your chest, upper back, neck, and jaw. You might also experience breathing difficulties and coughing. 

Abdominal aortic aneurysm

An abdominal aortic aneurysm might result in lower back pain, groin pain, or abdominal pain. Your physician might notice a mass or lump while feeling your abdomen during a standard physical exam. 

Which treatments are available for an aortic aneurysm?

The team at Vascular Specialists specializes in conservative aortic aneurysm management, focusing on non-invasive and minimally-invasive approaches before moving on to surgical interventions. To treat an aortic aneurysm and prevent a rupture, they might recommend:

  • Ongoing monitoring with vascular ultrasound
  • Medications (e.g. statins, beta-blockers)
  • Stress management
  • Endovascular repair using a catheter

If less invasive approaches aren’t effective or available in your case, the team might recommend open abdominal surgery or open chest surgery to repair your aorta with a tube-shaped synthetic graft.  

Lowering your blood pressure with lifestyle modifications can reduce your chances of an aneurysm rupture. The team at Vascular Specialists might recommend avoiding tobacco products, modifying your diet, or adding reasonable regular exercise to your routine.

An aortic aneurysm can put you at risk for a life-threatening medical emergency. For early aortic aneurysm diagnosis and intervention, call Vascular Specialists or book an appointment online today.