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Aortic Aneurysm

Overview

Aortic aneurysm is a bulge in a section of the body's main artery called the aorta. It carries oxygen-rich blood from the heart to the rest of the body. The section with the aneurysm is overstretched and weak and can burst and if the aorta bursts, it can cause severe bleeding that can be fatal. Fortunately, all aneurysms do not rupture right away. Many grow slowly and there are no symptoms for many years. When these aneurysms are detected on time, they can be repaired so as to avoid rupture. Aneurysms occur mostly in people above 55 years and are more common in men than women.

Aneurysms can be formed in any section of the aorta, though the most common are in the belly area (abdominal aortic aneurysm) and also in the upper body (thoracic aortic aneurysm). Thoracic aortic aneurysms are further known as ascending or descending aortic aneurysms. An aneurysm can occur in between the upper and lower parts of your aorta, which is less common and is called a thoracoabdominal aneurysm.