Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Overview

What is an abdominal aortic aneurysm?
An abdominal aortic aneurysm is a swollen and weakened area in the wall of the aorta. Over time, the wall can become so weak that it ruptures or bursts. The aorta is the largest artery in the body. The aorta begins at the heart, travels through the abdomen, and then divides into two large arteries that supply the pelvis and lower extremities.

What are the symptoms of an abdominal aortic aneurysm?
The most common symptoms of an abdominal aortic aneurysm are severe abdominal pain, back pain, excessive sweating, nausea, and severe weakness.

How does the doctor treat an abdominal aortic aneurysm?
The treatment of an abdominal aortic aneurysm depends on the size and location of the aneurysm. Large, expanding, or leaking abdominal aortic aneurysms are treated with surgery.

Continue to Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Incidence

Last Updated: Sep 30, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm References
  1. Ailawadi G, Eliason JL, Upchurch GR Jr: Current concepts in the pathogenesis of abdominal aortic aneurysm. J Vasc Surg 2003 Sep; 38(3): 584-8. [12947280]
  2. Fleming C, Whitlock EP, Beil TL, Lederle FA. Screening for abdominal aortic aneurysm: a best-evidence systematic review for the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Ann Intern Med. 2005 Feb 1;142(3):203-11. [15684209]
  3. Isselbacher EM. Thoracic and abdominal aortic aneurysms. Circulation. 2005 Feb 15;111(6):816-28. [15710776]
  4. Lyon C, Clark DC. Diagnosis of acute abdominal pain in older patients. Am Fam Physician. 2006 Nov 1;74(9):1537-44. [17111893]
  5. Sakalihasan N, Limet R, Defawe OD. Abdominal aortic aneurysm. Lancet. 2005 Apr 30-May 6;365(9470):1577-89. [15866312]
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