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Aortic Aneurysm (cont.)

Aortic Aneurysm Prognosis

With prompt diagnosis and proper surgical treatment, most people recover fully.

Treatment usually requires minimal alteration of lifestyle, although recommendations to avoid dietary fat and smoking and to control blood pressure may allow patients to prevent further damage to their blood vessels.

Because these conditions most often occur in elderly people with other medical conditions, recovery can be prolonged and difficult.

Complications of untreated aortic aneurysm include the following:

  • Blood clot: Where the aorta widens into a bulge, blood clots (thrombi) are more likely to form. If a piece of a blood clot breaks off (embolizes), it travels through the circulatory system until it lodges somewhere. The clot can cut off blood flow to any area of the body. Symptoms depend on which part of the body is deprived of blood.
  • Internal bleeding: In ruptured aneurysm or dissection, internal bleeding will occur. If individuals have symptoms associated with internal bleeding, they are in danger and must seek emergency medical care right away.
  • Circulatory shock: If anyone bleeds enough, their blood pressure will drop dangerously low. Organs will not receive enough blood to function normally. This is called circulatory collapse or often just "shock." It is a life-threatening condition.

REFERENCES:

American Heart Association

CDC. Aortic Aneurysm Fact Sheet.

Medscape. Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Treatment & Management.

Medscape. Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm.


Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/17/2014
Medical Author:

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Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm »

Abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAAs) represent a degenerative process of the abdominal aorta that is often attributed to atherosclerosis; however, the exact cause is not known. A familiar clustering of AAAs has been noted in 15-25% of patients undergoing repair of the problem.

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