Aortic Aneurysm

Arteries are muscular blood vessels that carry oxygen-rich blood throughout the body.  The aorta is the largest artery, extending from the heart to the lower abdomen. 

An aortic aneurysm is an abnormal swelling or "bubble" caused by a weakness in the aorta's muscle layer.  The typical aortic aneurysm is small at first.  Over time, the constant pressure in the aorta distends the aneurysm into a balloon-like bulge.

The ultimate risk of an aortic aneurysm is rupture, however not every aortic aneurysm is destined to rupture.  Some are small and only grow slowly.  They may be monitored with ultrasound every six, twelve or twenty four months - depending on aneurysm size.  Others may already be quite large when detected or may grow rapidly.

The normal aorta is around 20 - 25mm in diameter.  The threshold for intervention / surgery for an aneursymal aorta is 50mm.

We offer a full aneurysm service of detection, monitoring and repair. 

Once an aneurysm reaches the threshold for intervention, or if other factors indicate intervention - our surgeon will perform an endovascular aortic repair (EVAR), placing a stent graft into the aorta to reinforce the wall.  This will then be monitored these post surgery with ultrasound for a period of two years, to fully ensure the durability of the result.

There is a strong familial link with aneurysmic disease.  So if you have a family history of aneurysm, it is important to have your aorta checked. 

Set your mind at ease and book to see our surgeon.