Sunday, March 30, 2014

What is a aortic aneurysm?

Well,we got a curve ball to our month of April.   Hubby  has a aortic aneurysm  in his
aortic vein located in his abdomen.  Heart cath scheduled for April 11th - not sure if stents will do the job or if he will need heart surgery.   

Not knowing much about a Aortic Aneurysm I have been hopping the internet reading all kinds of info about it.

#1  Aortic aneurysms can develop anywhere along the length of the aorta but the majority are located in the abdominal aorta. About 90% of the abdominal aneurysms are located below the level of the renal arteries, the vessels that provide blood to the kidneys. 

#2 Abdominal aortic aneurysms tend to occur in white males over the age of 60. In the United States, these aneurysms occur in up to 3.0% of the population. Aneurysms start to form at about age 50 and peak at age 80. Women are less likely to have aneurysms than men and African Americans are less likely to have aneurysms than Caucasians. 

#3  There is a genetic component that predisposes one to developing an aneurysm; the prevalence in someone who has a first-degree relative with the condition can be as high as 25%.

#4  The most common cause of aortic aneurysms is "hardening of the arteries" called arteriosclerosis. At least 80% of aortic aneurysms are from arteriosclerosis. The arteriosclerosis can weaken the aortic wall and the increased pressure of the blood being pumped through the aorta causes weakness of the inner layer of the aortic wall.

#5 Most abdominal aortic aneurysms produce no symptoms (they are asymptomatic) and are discovered incidentally when an imaging test of the abdomen  (CT or ultrasound) is performed. They can also be detected by physical examination when the health care professional feels the abdomen and listens for a bruit, the sound made by turbulent blood flow. My hubby's was found when the doctor ordered a CT scan of his back.  His back CT scan may have saved his life! They noticed the aneurysm and contacted his heart doctor.  One great reason to being part of a great medical organization.

Now to wait - the reason they are waiting till the 11th is that my hubby also has terrible allergies/COPD and is having a terrible time this season breathing.  They started him on a nebuliser breathing treatments 4 times a day. Hoping that the treatments will help his breathing to get him ready for his heart cath and if needed his surgery. 

We are blessed that they found the aneurysm and can treat it.  It is amazing what medicine can do in 2014 - I can only imagine what doctors will be able to do 20 years from now.   

The information I placed on this post came from a great  informational website and the pic I found on the internet. I love the heart shaped leaf!


  1. Oh my goodness. That is so scary. I am so glad they caught this early enough. Wishing your husband a very speedy recovery.

  2. This is so scary and I am so happy they found it when doing that back scan.

  3. My best wishes for a speedy recovery. Remain with him, ask questions until you understand, know that you have the right to get answers. Follow your instincts and soon he will be home!!! Let me know how I can help.

  4. Wow! I'm glad they were able to catch it early on. I hope he's ok.

  5. I am glad they caught it early! I will be praying for you guys! Keep us posted.