What Is and How to Prevent Aortic Aneurysm?
Carlos Moura, Hospital da Luz Lisboa vascular surgeon, explained in the TV show “Dr. Saúde”, broadcasted on September 18, the main causes and forms of prevention of aortic aneurysm. “Early diagnosis is determinant, via abdominal echography, especially in 65-70-year-old men and smokers”, because the aorta aneurysm rupture is fatal in over 50% of cases, as highlighted the specialist (on the right, in the photo above).
The aorta is the largest artery in the human body carrying oxygen-rich blood from the heart to the rest of the organism. The aneurysm consists of a swelling of the aorta walls, progressively increasing with time, weakening the area and risking rupture. The disease affects mainly men, between 65 to 70 and smokers: “After lung cancer, aortic aneurysm is the pathology most linked to smoking”, further explained the vascular surgeon from Hospital da Luz Lisboa.
Other risk factors, besides age and smoking, are hypertension, atherosclerosis and inheritance (one in five family members of patients with aortic aneurysm also develop the disease). The screening should happen early, because the aortic aneurysm is “silent”, meaning that it has no specific symptoms, usually being detected in routine exams or done for other reasons. In terms of treatment, the possible approaches are conventional surgery (to remove the weakened area of the artery in risk of rupture, replacing it with a vascular prosthesis) or endovascular surgery (insertion of an endoprosthesis, inside the aorta, through small incisions in femoral arteries).