What is it?
An abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) is an enlargement or swelling in the aorta, the largest blood vessel that runs from the heart down through the chest and tummy. It delivers blood, from the heart to the entire body. Aortic walls bulges out like a balloon if they become weak causing aneurysm, usually occurring in the part of the aorta that’s in the abdomen.
What are the symptoms?
- AAA usually have no or mild symptoms of abdominal pain unless they rupture. Symptoms usually appear once it rupture, it can present with one or more of the following symptoms: * sudden pain in the abdomen or back
- pain spreading from abdomen or back to pelvis, legs, or buttocks
- clammy or sweaty skin
- increased heart rate
- shock or loss of consciousness
- Healthy eating – eat a balanced diet and cut down on fatty food
- Regular exercise – aim to do at least 30 minutes of exercise every day
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Avoid smoking
- Decrease alcohol consumption
Things to watch out for
AAAs don’t always cause problems, but a ruptured aneurysm can be life-threatening. Therefore, if you’re diagnosed with an aneurysm, your doctor will probably want to monitor you closely, even if they don’t intervene right away.Make an appointment to see your GP as soon as possible if you have symptoms, especially if you’re at a higher risk of an AAA. An ultrasound scan of your tummy may be done to check if you have one. Call 000 for an ambulance immediately if you or someone else develops symptoms of a burst AAA.