Aneurysms | Symptoms And Treatment
Treatment of an aneurysm is best handled by an experienced vascular specialist.
Board Certified vascular surgeons are skilled at diagnosing and accurately evaluating aneurysms of all kinds to determine the best course of action.
A vascular specialist will also explain the condition and treatment options to the patient, ensuring the patient is a direct participant in his own treatment plan.
An aneurysm can develop over a number of years, and often will not present with any symptoms until it ruptures and becomes a medical emergency. Symptoms of a ruptured aneurysm might include:
- Pain in the area of the aneurysm
- Clammy skin
- Nausea and vomiting
- You may also have location-specific symptoms, such as constipation if the aneurysm is in the abdomen or a pulsating, painful lump if the aneurysm is located in a peripheral artery near the surface of the skin.
TWO TREATMENT OPTIONS
Dr. Ahluwalia is Board Certified in Vascular Surgery and currently offers two treatment options for patients diagnosed with an aneurysm:
This traditional surgical treatment involves opening the aneurysm and removing the contents inside. A synthetic tube is then grafted into the artery where the aneurysm was located to reinforce the artery walls and prevent a dangerous rupture from occurring. The procedure is considered major surgery, requiring general anesthesia and an extensive scar. Open repair takes approximately three hours to complete and the patient remains in the hospital for 5-7 days. Patients typically recover from the procedure within one month.
Endovascular procedures have replaced traditional surgery in many situations, because the procedures are less invasive and require much shorter recovery times. In the case of endovascular aneurysm repair, a graft is inserted into the weakened artery to provide support and prevent blood flow from occurring directly in the aneurysm. The graft is placed in the artery via a catheter threaded through an artery in the groin, eliminating the need for a large incision, reducing discomfort and recovery time for the patient.
BENEFITS OF ENDOVASCULAR TREATMENT
There are a number of benefits in choosing endovascular treatment over traditional surgical procedures:
1. Incision in the groin is very small, vs. larger incision in the chest or abdomen
2. Reduction in hospital stay, post-surgical discomfort and recovery time
3. Fewer complications and risks associated with this procedure
4. Can be used for patients where traditional surgery is considered too risky