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Nonruptured Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

The aorta is a large blood vessel that extends from your heart to your abdomen. The part of the aorta that extends into your abdomen is called your abdominal aorta. Your abdominal aorta brings blood to your stomach, pelvis, and legs. An abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) is a bulging or weak area in your abdominal aorta. Over time, the bulge may grow and is at risk for tearing or rupturing. An AAA that ruptures is a life-threatening emergency.


WHILE YOU ARE HERE:

Informed consent

is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.

Tests:

  • Ultrasound or MRI pictures will check the size of your AAA. These tests will also check for any leaks in the AAA. Do not enter the MRI room with anything metal. Metal can cause serious damage. Tell the healthcare provider if you have any metal in or on your body.
  • A computed tomography angiography (CTA) scan may be used to take detailed pictures of the AAA. You may be given contrast liquid to help your abdominal aorta show up better in pictures. Tell a healthcare provider if you have ever had an allergic reaction to contrast liquid.
  • An angiogram is an x-ray picture of your blood vessels. Contrast liquid is used to help the blood vessels show up better in the pictures. Tell the healthcare provider if you have ever had an allergic reaction to contrast liquid.

Treatment:

  • Endovascular repair is a procedure that uses a graft to repair your AAA. The graft stops blood flow to the aneurysm and protects your abdominal aorta. You may need to have more than 1 endovascular repair.
  • Open repair is surgery to repair or remove an AAA.

RISKS:

An AAA may leak or rupture. This can cause life-threatening bleeding. A ruptured AAA may also cause increase your risk for gastrointestinal bleeding, blood clots, or damage to other organs.

CARE AGREEMENT:

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

© 2017 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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