Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm
The Wake Forest Baptist Approach
The Heart Center cardiothoracic surgeons are experienced in the repair of aortic aneurysms.
An aortic aneurysm is a weakened and bulging area in the aorta, the major blood vessel that feeds 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 aortic aneurysm can cause life-threatening bleeding.
Although you may never have symptoms, finding out you have an aortic aneurysm can be frightening. Your physician will monitor your aneurysm by performing an imaging test such as an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) or a CT (computed tomography). Although these signs and symptoms suggest aortic dissection, more sensitive imaging techniques are needed to establish the diagnosis.
Once an aortic aneurysm is found, our physicians will closely monitor it so that surgery can be planned if it is necessary. Most small and slow-growing aortic aneurysms don't rupture. Large, fast-growing aortic aneurysms may need close management by your physician. Depending on the size and rate at which the aortic aneurysm is growing, treatment may vary from watchful waiting to surgical intervention.