Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm
An abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) is an abnormal dilatation of the main artery (aorta) in the abdominal cavity. The portion of the aorta below the kidney artery origins (infra-renal aorta) is the commonest site for aneurysmal change and accounts for almost 12,000 hospital admissions per year in the England.
The majority of AAA are asymptomatic at time of presentation being identified incidentally during clinical examination or imaging investigation for non-related conditions. However, complications, including rupture, may occur leading to significant harm and even death: 6000 deaths per year in England and Wales result from ruptured AAA. The likelihood of developing complications is directly proportional to the size of the AAA with aneurysm that are more than twice the size of the normal artery being particularly prone to problems.
Treatment is indicated when the risk of an aneurysm developing complications is greater than the risk associated with repair; this tends to occur when the AAA maximum diameter is > 5.5cm but does vary according to the general health status of our clients.
At the Circulation Clinic our surgeons are rightly proud of their results in the treatment of standard and complex abdominal aortic aneurysms and have expertise in both endovascular repair (EVAR), including fenestrated EVAR, and open surgical repair. We invite our prospective clients to review our individual surgeon outcomes on the UK National Vascular Registry.
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What should I do next?
If you think you have this condition or any of the described symptoms we recommend you seek medical advice.
Here, Mr McMahon of the Circulation Clinic meets John Sommerville, whose abdominal aortic aneurysm ruptured shortly after he landed at the airport from Tenerife. Broadcast on BBC East Midlands Today in 2016.