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An abdominal aortic aneurysm is a stretched and bulging area of the aorta. The aorta is the large blood vessel that takes oxygen-rich blood from the heart to the rest of the body. This type of aneurysm is in the belly, where the aorta takes blood to the lower body. If an aneurysm gets too big, it can cause serious problems. A bulging aorta is weak and can burst, or rupture. This causes life-threatening bleeding.
If your doctor has determined that your aneurysm is small and not growing fast, it is safe to watch the aneurysm carefully and wait on surgery. If the aneurysm is larger, surgery may be the safest choice. In some cases, your doctor may be able to put in a type of graft, called a stent, to fix the aneurysm without doing major surgery.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if you have any problems.
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Current as of: July 6, 2021
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine & Jeffrey J. Gilbertson MD - Vascular Surgery
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
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