An aneurysm is a weakened area of an artery wall that bulges or expands. Blood vessel walls can be weakened due to illness, injury or heredity. The risk of an aneurysm rupturing increases as it grows in size. A ruptured aneurysm causes internal bleeding that can lead to other serious life-threatening complications.
There are different types of aneurysms, including:
Why Choose The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center?
The vascular surgeons at Ohio State's Wexner Medical Center have extensive experience with traditional open repair of aneurysms, including repair of complex cases. They are also expert at minimally invasive repairs, and have experience in the use of all of the available stent graft technologies available to treat a wide variety of aneurysms. Ohio State's participation in national clinical trials helps direct the development of the next generation of stent grafts for the treatment of aneurysms.
What Is an Aneurysm?
An aneurysm is a balloon-like bulge caused by the pooling of blood in a weakened blood vessel. Aneurysms commonly occur in the arteries of the:
- Leg (behind the knee)
Aneurysms that occur within the body or brain usually do not cause symptoms before they rupture. However, aneurysms that occur near the skin's surface can often cause a visible mass that is painful and throbbing.
A ruptured aneurysm is very dangerous and requires immediate emergency medical care. Symptoms of a ruptured aneurysm include:
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Drop in blood pressure
- Increased heart rate
What Causes an Aneurysm?
While the exact cause is unclear, an aneurysm may be caused by multiple factors that damage the wall of a blood vessel. The weakening of a blood vessel wall can be caused by:
- Atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries)
- Genetic disorder
Steps you can take to lower your risk of developing an aneurysm include: