Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm: What You Need to Know

Abdominal aortic aneurysm is sometimes known as AAA, or triple A.

Who are at risk for AAA?

Older, long-term smokers are at especially high risk for abdominal aortic aneurysm.

Abdominal aortic aneurysm isn’t a serious problem until it becomes an emergency. Many people have no symptoms and don’t know they have an aortic aneurysm until it ruptures, which is often quickly fatal. That’s why screening matters.

Symptoms, when they do occur, include pain in the back or near the naval. However, an extremely sharp and severe pain, usually unbearable, may indicate rupture, requiring emergency medical treatment.

Not all aortic aneurysms need surgery. Smaller, slow-growing aortic aneurysms may be treated with watchful waiting, lifestyle changes and medication. Large or fast-growing aortic aneurysms may require surgery.

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