What is an abdominal aortic aneurysm screening?
An abdominal aortic aneurysm screening is an important exam that detects if the lower part of the aorta is inflated. If it is ruptured, via an aneurysm, this can cause serious, life-threatening bleeding. An aneurysm develops over time; once it is detected, doctors will monitor it in order to plan surgery as necessary. It is always better to plan surgery than wait for an emergency situation. Your Matthews, NC subscription medical practice offers abdominal aortic aneurysm screenings, and with 24/7 doctors on call, is an excellent resource for this potentially life-threatening condition.
What are the symptoms?
Abdominal aortic aneurysms are hard to detect because they usually grow slowly and without noticeable symptoms. Some aneurysms may never actually rupture, and others start small and do not grow much in size. Thus, screening is vital to help determine how fast the aneurysm is being enlarged. Some symptoms include back pain, deep and constant pain in the abdominal region or the side of the abdomen, and a pulsating sensation near the bellybutton. See your doctor as soon as possible if you experience any of the symptoms above. Adults 60 plus years old have a higher risk of developing an abdominal aortic aneurysm, particularly if it runs genetically in their family, or if they smoked. Men are more at risk than females, so healthy men ages 65 to 75 who have never smoked should still have a one-time screening at the least. Symptoms that indicate your aneurysm has actually burst, in which you should seek medical attention immediately, include: a fast pulse, shortness of breath, low blood pressure, nausea and vomiting, sweating, clamminess, dizziness, pain radiation to your back or legs, persistent and intense abdominal or back pain, and a loss of consciousness.
What are the causes?
The direct causes of an abdominal aortic aneurysm are not known, but factors like smoking, infection, and hardening of the arteries can play a role. Using cigarettes and other types of tobacco products leads to high blood pressure and atherosclerosis, which is the buildup of fatty plaques in your arteries. Atherosclerosis then causes the arteries to harden, which increases the likelihood of an aneurysm. Lastly, vasculitis, which is an infection of the aorta, can inflame and weaken the aortic wall, contributing to an aneurysm.
Conner Family Health Clinic
If you think you have an aneurysm forming, or if you meet some of the criteria for it, the Conner Family Health Clinic is a Matthews-based subscription medical practice that offers screenings. A screening for an abdominal aortic aneurysm is done via ultrasound, and as a concierge medical practice, the Conner Family Health Clinic can provide them as frequently as needed, working with your timeline. The clinic was founded in 2005, and offers superior, patient-centric, and individualized care.