Description

Abdominal aortic aneurysmAbdominal aortic aneurysmAn abdominal aortic aneurysm occurs when a lower portion of your body's main artery (aorta) becomes weakened and bulges. An abdominal aortic aneurysm occurs when a lower portion of your body's main artery (aorta) becomes weakened and bulges.An abdominal aortic aneurysm is an enlarged area in the lower part of the aorta, the major blood vessel that supplies 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 abdominal aortic aneurysm can cause life-threatening bleeding.Depending on the size and the rate at which your abdominal aortic aneurysm is growing, treatment may vary from watchful waiting to emergency surgery.Once an abdominal aortic aneurysm is found, doctors will closely monitor it so that surgery can be planned if it's necessary. Emergency surgery for a ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm can be risky.Abdominal aortic aneurysm care at Mayo ClinicMeat and poultryExercise benefitsCreate a quit-smoking planUltrasoundChest X-raysCT scanAbdominal painBack painOverviewSymptoms & causesDiagnosis & treatmentRequest an appointmentDiagnosisTreatmentThe Mayo Clinic experience & patient storiesDepartments & specialtiesExpertise & rankingsLocations, travel & lodgingClinical trialsResearchCosts & insurancePreparing for your appointmentSelf-managementMore aboutIn-DepthMultimediaResourcesNews from Mayo ClinicRequest an appointmentDiagnosisTreatmentThe Mayo Clinic experience & patient storiesDepartments & specialtiesExpertise & rankingsLocations, travel & lodgingClinical trialsResearchCosts & insurancePreparing for your appointmentIn-DepthMultimediaResourcesNews from Mayo Clinic

Causes

ClinicalTrials

Below are current clinical trials.6 studies in Abdominal aortic aneurysm (open studies only).Below are current clinical trials.Filter this list of studies by location, status and more.Rochester, Minn.The purpose of this clinical trial is to assess and evaluate the safety and efficacy of the Treovance Stent-Graft with Navitel Delivery System in subjects with Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms (AAA).Rochester, Minn.The purpose of this study is to collect clinical outcomes and quality of life (QoL) data of patients treated by open surgical repair (OR) for complex aortic aneurysms (CAAs) at the Mayo Clinic Rochester.Scottsdale/Phoenix, Ariz.The study is being done to compare radiation exposure between two standard-of-care methods of abdominal aortic aneurysm repair.Rochester, Minn.This study will compare two groups of subjects with complex abdominal aortic aneurysms. It will compare their clinical outcomes and quality of life measures. The group being treated in this study will have their aneurysms repaired by an endovascular approach using Zenith® Fenestrated AAA Endovascular Graft. This group will be compared to a group of 461 patients (historical cohort) whose complex aneurysms were treated by open surgical repair.Rochester, Minn.The purpose of the study is to assess the safety and effectiveness of the GORE® EXCLUDER® Conformable AAA Endoprosthesis to repair an  aneurysm located in the abdominal aorta. Performance of the GORE® EXCLUDER® Conformable AAA Endoprosthesis will be judged by separate performance goals.Scottsdale/Phoenix, Ariz.The purpose of this study is to assess the safety and effectiveness of the GORE® EXCLUDER® Conformable AAA Endoprosthesis to treat an infrarenal aneurysm located in the abdominal aorta.Meat and poultryExercise benefitsCreate a quit-smoking planUltrasoundChest X-raysCT scanAbdominal painBack painOverviewSymptoms & causesDiagnosis & treatmentRequest an appointmentDiagnosisTreatmentThe Mayo Clinic experience & patient storiesDepartments & specialtiesExpertise & rankingsLocations, travel & lodgingClinical trialsResearchCosts & insurancePreparing for your appointmentSelf-managementMore aboutIn-DepthMultimediaResourcesNews from Mayo ClinicRequest an appointmentDiagnosisTreatmentThe Mayo Clinic experience & patient storiesDepartments & specialtiesExpertise & rankingsLocations, travel & lodgingClinical trialsResearchCosts & insurancePreparing for your appointmentIn-DepthMultimediaResourcesNews from Mayo Clinic

Complications

Appointment

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.Central Appointment OfficeCentral Appointment OfficeCardiovascular DiseasesCardiovascular SurgeryCentral Appointment Office(Minnesota)

Diagnosis

If you think you may have an abdominal aortic aneurysm, or are worried about your aneurysm risk because of a strong family history, make an appointment with your family doctor. If an aneurysm is found early, your treatment may be easier and more effective.Since many abdominal aortic aneurysms are found during a routine physical exam, or while your doctor is looking for another condition, there are no special preparations necessary. If you're being screened for an aortic aneurysm, your doctor will likely ask if anyone in your family has ever had an aortic aneurysm, so have that information ready.Because appointments can be brief and there's often a lot to discuss, it's a good idea to be prepared for your appointment. Here's some information to help you get ready for your appointment, and what to expect from your doctor. Be aware of any pre-appointment restrictions. At the time you make the appointment, be sure to ask if there's anything you need to do in advance, such as restrict your diet. For an ultrasound or echocardiogram, for example, you may need to fast for a period of time beforehand. Write down any symptoms you're experiencing, including any that may seem unrelated to an abdominal aortic aneurysm. Write down key personal information, including a family history of heart disease or aneurysms. Make a list of all medications, vitamins or supplements that you're taking. Take a family member or friend along, if possible. Sometimes it can be difficult to remember all the information provided to you during an appointment. Someone who accompanies you may remember something that you missed or forgot. Be prepared to discuss your diet, exercise habits and tobacco use. If you don't already follow a healthy diet or exercise routine, talk to your doctor about any challenges you might face in getting started. Be sure to tell your doctor if you're a current or former smoker. Write down questions to ask your doctor. Your time with your doctor is limited, so preparing a list of questions will help you make the most of your time together. List your questions from most important to least important in case time runs out. For an abdominal aortic aneurysm, some basic questions to ask your doctor include: What's the most likely cause of my symptoms? What kinds of tests will I need? What treatments are available, and which do you think would be the best treatment for me? What's an appropriate level of physical activity? How often do I need to be screened for this aneurysm? Should I tell other family members to be screened for an aneurysm? I have other health conditions. How can I best manage these conditions together? Is there a generic alternative to the medicine you're prescribing me? Are there any brochures or other printed material that I can take home with me? What websites do you recommend visiting for more information? In addition to the questions that you've prepared to ask your doctor, don't hesitate to ask additional questions during your appointment at any time that you don't understand something.Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions. Being ready to answer them may reserve time to go over any points you want to spend more time on. Your doctor may ask: When did you first notice your symptoms? Do your symptoms come and go, or do you always feel them? How severe are your symptoms? Do you have a family history of aneurysms? Have you ever smoked? Does anything seem to improve your symptoms? What, if anything, appears to worsen your symptoms? It's never too early to make healthy lifestyle changes, such as quitting smoking, eating healthy foods and becoming more physically active. These are primary lines of defense to keep your blood vessels healthy and prevent an abdominal aortic aneurysm from developing or worsening.If you're diagnosed with an abdominal aortic aneurysm, you should ask about the size of your aneurysm, whether your doctor has noticed any changes and how frequently you should visit your doctor for follow-up appointments.Meat and poultryExercise benefitsCreate a quit-smoking planUltrasoundChest X-raysCT scanAbdominal painBack painOverviewSymptoms & causesDiagnosis & treatmentRequest an appointmentDiagnosisTreatmentThe Mayo Clinic experience & patient storiesDepartments & specialtiesExpertise & rankingsLocations, travel & lodgingClinical trialsResearchCosts & insurancePreparing for your appointmentSelf-managementMore aboutIn-DepthMultimediaResourcesNews from Mayo ClinicRequest an appointmentDiagnosisTreatmentThe Mayo Clinic experience & patient storiesDepartments & specialtiesExpertise & rankingsLocations, travel & lodgingClinical trialsResearchCosts & insurancePreparing for your appointmentIn-DepthMultimediaResourcesNews from Mayo Clinic

Experience

Research

RiskFactors

Speciality

Mayo Clinic has one of the largest and most experienced practices in the United States, with campuses in Arizona, Florida and Minnesota. Staff skilled in dozens of specialties work together to ensure quality care and successful recovery. Cardiac Surgery Cardiovascular Diseases Radiology Vascular and Endovascular Surgery Vascular Medicine Radiology Research Meat and poultryExercise benefitsCreate a quit-smoking planUltrasoundChest X-raysCT scanAbdominal painBack painOverviewSymptoms & causesDiagnosis & treatmentRequest an appointmentDiagnosisTreatmentThe Mayo Clinic experience & patient storiesDepartments & specialtiesExpertise & rankingsLocations, travel & lodgingClinical trialsResearchCosts & insurancePreparing for your appointmentSelf-managementMore aboutIn-DepthMultimediaResourcesNews from Mayo ClinicRequest an appointmentDiagnosisTreatmentThe Mayo Clinic experience & patient storiesDepartments & specialtiesExpertise & rankingsLocations, travel & lodgingClinical trialsResearchCosts & insurancePreparing for your appointmentIn-DepthMultimediaResourcesNews from Mayo Clinic

Symptoms

SymptomsAndCauses

Abdominal aortic aneurysms often grow slowly and usually without symptoms, making them difficult to detect. Some aneurysms will never rupture. Many start small and stay small, although many expand over time. Others expand quickly. Predicting how fast an abdominal aortic aneurysm may enlarge is difficult.As an abdominal aortic aneurysm enlarges, some people may notice: A pulsating feeling near the navel Deep, constant pain in your abdomen or on the side of your abdomen Back pain If you have any of these signs and symptoms, such as sudden severe back or abdominal pain, get immediate emergency help.You should see your doctor if you have any of the symptoms listed above. The recommendations below are for those who have no symptoms.Because being male and smoking significantly increase the risk of abdominal aortic aneurysm, men ages 65 to 75 who have ever smoked cigarettes should have a screening for abdominal aortic aneurysms using abdominal ultrasound. If you are a man between ages 65 and 75 and you have never smoked, your doctor will decide on the need for an abdominal ultrasound, usually based on other risk factors, such as a family history of aneurysm. Those with a family history of aneurysm may have an ultrasound at age 60.There isn't enough evidence to determine whether women ages 65 to 75 who have ever smoked cigarettes or have a family history of abdominal aortic aneurysm would benefit from abdominal aortic aneurysm screening. Ask your doctor if you need to have an ultrasound screening based on your risk factors. Women who have never smoked generally don't need to be screened for the condition. Abdominal aortic aneurysmAbdominal aortic aneurysmAn abdominal aortic aneurysm occurs when a lower portion of your body's main artery (aorta) becomes weakened and bulges. An abdominal aortic aneurysm occurs when a lower portion of your body's main artery (aorta) becomes weakened and bulges.Most aortic aneurysms occur in the part of your aorta that's in your abdomen. Although the exact cause of abdominal aortic aneurysms is unknown, a number of factors may play a role, including: Tobacco use. Cigarette smoking and other forms of tobacco use appear to increase your risk of aortic aneurysms. Smoking can be damaging to the aorta and weaken the aorta's walls. Hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis). Atherosclerosis occurs when fat and other substances build up on the lining of a blood vessel. This condition may increase your risk of an aneurysm. High blood pressure. High blood pressure can increase your risk of abdominal aortic aneurysms as it can damage and weaken the aorta's walls. Blood vessel diseases in the aorta. Abdominal aortic aneurysms can be caused by diseases that cause blood vessels to become inflamed. Infection in the aorta. Infections, such as a bacterial or fungal infection, may rarely cause abdominal aortic aneurysms. Trauma. Trauma, such as being in a car accident, can cause abdominal aortic aneurysms. Heredity. In some cases, abdominal aortic aneurysms could be hereditary. Aneurysms can develop anywhere along the aorta, but when they occur in the upper part of the aorta, in the chest, they are called thoracic aortic aneurysms. More commonly, aneurysms form in the lower part of your aorta and are called abdominal aortic aneurysms. These aneurysms may also be referred to as AAA.Abdominal aortic aneurysm risk factors include: Age. Abdominal aortic aneurysms occur most often in people age 65 and older. Tobacco use. Tobacco use is a strong risk factor for the development of an abdominal aortic aneurysm and a higher risk of rupture. The longer you've smoked or chewed tobacco and the more cigarettes you smoked per day, the greater your risk. Being male. Men develop abdominal aortic aneurysms much more often than women do. Being white. People who are white are at higher risk of abdominal aortic aneurysms. Family history. People who have a family history of abdominal aortic aneurysms are at increased risk of having the condition. Atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis — the buildup of fat and other substances that can damage the lining of a blood vessel — increases your risk of an aneurysm. Other aneurysms. People who have an aneurysm in another large blood vessel, such as the artery behind the knee or the thoracic aorta in the chest, may have a higher risk of developing an abdominal aortic aneurysm. High blood pressure. High blood pressure may increase your risk of developing an abdominal aortic aneurysm. Tears in one or more of the layers of the wall of the aorta (aortic dissection) or a ruptured aortic aneurysm are the main complications of abdominal aortic aneurysms. A ruptured aortic aneurysm can lead to life-threatening internal bleeding. In general, the larger the aneurysm and the faster the aneurysm grows, the greater the risk of rupture.Signs and symptoms that your aortic aneurysm has ruptured may include: Sudden, intense and persistent abdominal or back pain, which can be described as a tearing sensation Pain that radiates to your back or legs Sweatiness Clamminess Dizziness Nausea Vomiting Low blood pressure Fast pulse Another complication of aortic aneurysms is the risk of blood clots. Small blood clots can develop in the area of the aortic aneurysm. If a blood clot breaks loose from the inside wall of an aneurysm and blocks a blood vessel elsewhere in your body, it can cause pain or block the blood flow to the legs, toes, kidneys or abdominal organs.Meat and poultryExercise benefitsCreate a quit-smoking planUltrasoundChest X-raysCT scanAbdominal painBack painOverviewSymptoms & causesDiagnosis & treatmentRequest an appointmentDiagnosisTreatmentThe Mayo Clinic experience & patient storiesDepartments & specialtiesExpertise & rankingsLocations, travel & lodgingClinical trialsResearchCosts & insurancePreparing for your appointmentSelf-managementMore aboutIn-DepthMultimediaResourcesNews from Mayo ClinicRequest an appointmentDiagnosisTreatmentThe Mayo Clinic experience & patient storiesDepartments & specialtiesExpertise & rankingsLocations, travel & lodgingClinical trialsResearchCosts & insurancePreparing for your appointmentIn-DepthMultimediaResourcesNews from Mayo Clinic

Treatment

If you think you may have an abdominal aortic aneurysm, or are worried about your aneurysm risk because of a strong family history, make an appointment with your family doctor. If an aneurysm is found early, your treatment may be easier and more effective.Since many abdominal aortic aneurysms are found during a routine physical exam, or while your doctor is looking for another condition, there are no special preparations necessary. If you're being screened for an aortic aneurysm, your doctor will likely ask if anyone in your family has ever had an aortic aneurysm, so have that information ready.Because appointments can be brief and there's often a lot to discuss, it's a good idea to be prepared for your appointment. Here's some information to help you get ready for your appointment, and what to expect from your doctor. Be aware of any pre-appointment restrictions. At the time you make the appointment, be sure to ask if there's anything you need to do in advance, such as restrict your diet. For an ultrasound or echocardiogram, for example, you may need to fast for a period of time beforehand. Write down any symptoms you're experiencing, including any that may seem unrelated to an abdominal aortic aneurysm. Write down key personal information, including a family history of heart disease or aneurysms. Make a list of all medications, vitamins or supplements that you're taking. Take a family member or friend along, if possible. Sometimes it can be difficult to remember all the information provided to you during an appointment. Someone who accompanies you may remember something that you missed or forgot. Be prepared to discuss your diet, exercise habits and tobacco use. If you don't already follow a healthy diet or exercise routine, talk to your doctor about any challenges you might face in getting started. Be sure to tell your doctor if you're a current or former smoker. Write down questions to ask your doctor. Your time with your doctor is limited, so preparing a list of questions will help you make the most of your time together. List your questions from most important to least important in case time runs out. For an abdominal aortic aneurysm, some basic questions to ask your doctor include: What's the most likely cause of my symptoms? What kinds of tests will I need? What treatments are available, and which do you think would be the best treatment for me? What's an appropriate level of physical activity? How often do I need to be screened for this aneurysm? Should I tell other family members to be screened for an aneurysm? I have other health conditions. How can I best manage these conditions together? Is there a generic alternative to the medicine you're prescribing me? Are there any brochures or other printed material that I can take home with me? What websites do you recommend visiting for more information? In addition to the questions that you've prepared to ask your doctor, don't hesitate to ask additional questions during your appointment at any time that you don't understand something.Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions. Being ready to answer them may reserve time to go over any points you want to spend more time on. Your doctor may ask: When did you first notice your symptoms? Do your symptoms come and go, or do you always feel them? How severe are your symptoms? Do you have a family history of aneurysms? Have you ever smoked? Does anything seem to improve your symptoms? What, if anything, appears to worsen your symptoms? It's never too early to make healthy lifestyle changes, such as quitting smoking, eating healthy foods and becoming more physically active. These are primary lines of defense to keep your blood vessels healthy and prevent an abdominal aortic aneurysm from developing or worsening.If you're diagnosed with an abdominal aortic aneurysm, you should ask about the size of your aneurysm, whether your doctor has noticed any changes and how frequently you should visit your doctor for follow-up appointments.Meat and poultryExercise benefitsCreate a quit-smoking planUltrasoundChest X-raysCT scanAbdominal painBack painOverviewSymptoms & causesDiagnosis & treatmentRequest an appointmentDiagnosisTreatmentThe Mayo Clinic experience & patient storiesDepartments & specialtiesExpertise & rankingsLocations, travel & lodgingClinical trialsResearchCosts & insurancePreparing for your appointmentSelf-managementMore aboutIn-DepthMultimediaResourcesNews from Mayo ClinicRequest an appointmentDiagnosisTreatmentThe Mayo Clinic experience & patient storiesDepartments & specialtiesExpertise & rankingsLocations, travel & lodgingClinical trialsResearchCosts & insurancePreparing for your appointmentIn-DepthMultimediaResourcesNews from Mayo Clinic