Knowing your aneurysm treatment options could play a significant role in helping you to avoid a potentially life-threatening rupture. Characterized by a balloon-like bulge in an artery, an aneurysm is the result of a weakened aortic wall and can be caused by numerous factors such as aging, smoking, obesity, high blood pressure, and narrowing of the arteries caused by plaque buildup.
There are four types of aneurysms – cerebral (brain), thoracic aortic (chest), abdominal aortic (abdomen), and peripheral (located in an artery other than the aorta and not in the brain). Of the millions of people in the United States who have an aneurysm that hasn’t ruptured, the majority experience no symptoms or ill effects and usually aren’t aware they have it.
If you have been diagnosed with an aneurysm, there are several treatment options that can help you minimize the risks of a rupture. They include:
- Medicines – Beta blockers and calcium channel blockers are often used to lower blood pressure and relax blood vessels, helping to avoid a rupture without the need for surgery.
- Open abdominal surgery – This form of aneurysm treatment involves the surgical removal of the aneurysm, with a graft used to replace the affected portion of the artery.
- Endovascular surgery – In this method, called an abdominal aortic aneurysm repair, a stent is inserted into the artery to strengthen the affected portion and produce a stable channel for blood flow. This procedure is performed by an interventional radiologist through an incision in the skin at the groin, using imaging to guide the catheter and graft inside the patient’s artery.
If an aneurysm ruptures, emergency surgery is required to repair the artery. Failure to reach the hospital in a timely manner can result in severe complications or death.
At Tampa General Hospital’s Cardiovascular Center, our specialists use state-of-the-art technology to provide comprehensive aneurysm treatment. TGH has received national recognition for cardiac care, earning a spot on U.S. News & World Report’s list of America's Best Hospitals for Cardiology & Heart Surgery every year since 2008.