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Aneurysms usually develop very slowly over time, making them difficult to detect. Many people may not be aware they have an aneurysm developing. Symptoms of an aortic aneurysm can vary with the location of the aneurysm:
If you are experiencing the aortic aneurysm symptoms, see your doctor immediately. Detecting aneurysm early will reduce the likelihood of life-threatening rupture.
If you have a family history of aortic aneurysm, or a genetic connective tissue disorder such as Marfan syndrome, you may require preventive ultrasound screenings by your physicians.
As aortic aneurysms frequently don’t exhibit symptoms, they often are discovered during a periodic physical examination or during an examination for another health concern. A routine chest X-ray, for example, may show a large aneurysm.
If you appear to have an aneurysm, further testing may be ordered to determine its size and location. These tests include CT scans, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), transesophageal echocardiogram (TEE), abdominal ultrasound and angiography. Learn more about these and other diagnostic heart tests performed at HonorHealth.
A small aneurysm may require a watch-and-wait approach. Your physician may want to have imaging tests performed regularly to monitor changes in the aneurysm's size and plan for future surgical intervention. Typically, an aortic aneurysm will not be operated on unless it:
In the meantime, you may be prescribed blood pressure medication to ensure that undue pressure is not placed on the weakened area of the aorta. You may need to limit physical activities such as heavy lifting.