Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm


What is an abdominal aortic aneurysm? An abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) is a bulge in your aorta that occurs when the aorta's walls are weakened. The aorta is a large blood vessel that extends from your heart to your abdomen. An AAA may develop anywhere in your aorta, but it often occurs in your lower abdomen, near your navel.

What increases my risk of an abdominal aortic aneurysm? The cause of AAA may not be known. The following factors may increase your risk of an AAA:

What are the signs and symptoms of an abdominal aortic aneurysm? You may have no signs or symptoms of an AAA that is not leaking. You may have any of the following:

How is an abdominal aortic aneurysm diagnosed? Since you may not have symptoms, an AAA is often found when you have a test or exam for another reason. Your healthcare provider will feel your abdomen and listen to it through a stethoscope. You may also receive the following:

How is an abdominal aortic aneurysm treated? Treatment will depend on the size of your AAA. Your healthcare provider may watch your AAA over time instead of treating it if the tests show it is small. Some AAAs stay small and may not need treatment. You may be treated with the following:

How can I help manage my abdominal aortic aneurysm?

For more information:


You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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