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Aortic Aneurysm Specialist

Cardiology Associates of Frederick

Cardiologists located in Frederick, MD

An aortic aneurysm is a bulge in the wall of the aorta that may potentially lead to a life-threatening situation. In many cases, people learn they have an aortic aneurysm when undergoing tests for other health issues. Those at risk of developing an aortic aneurysm should undergo routine screening. Cardiology Associates of Frederick in Frederick, Maryland, offers in-house aortic aneurysm screening, as well as ongoing care and monitoring. To schedule your screening, call the office or request an appointment online today.

Aortic Aneurysm Q & A

What is an aortic aneurysm?

Your aorta is the main artery that delivers oxygen-rich blood from your heart to the rest of your body. An aortic aneurysm is a bulging or ballooning in the wall of the artery.

There are two main types of aortic aneurysms:

Thoracic aortic aneurysm (TAA)

A TAA is an aneurysm that occurs in the part of the aorta that passes through the chest. With a TAA, you have symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath, or trouble swallowing. 

Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA)

These are aneurysms that occur in the aorta below the chest, and they’re more common than TAAs. Most people with AAAs don’t have symptoms. However, they may cause throbbing or pain in the back, side, legs, or buttocks.

No matter the type, aortic aneurysms are at risk of dissection (splitting of the artery wall, allowing blood to leak) or rupture (bursting of the artery wall), which is a life-threatening condition.

Am I at risk of developing an aortic aneurysm?

Anyone can develop an aortic aneurysm. However, certain factors may increase your risk, including:

  • Family history
  • Smoking
  • History of high blood pressure or high cholesterol
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Age (risk increases as you get older)

Cardiology Associates of Frederick recommends you undergo screening for an aortic aneurysm if you're between the ages of 65 and 75 and have a family history of the condition, or if you smoke or have a history of smoking.

How are aortic aneurysms diagnosed?

Cardiology Associates of Frederick performs an abdominal ultrasound to screen for aortic aneurysms. During the diagnostic test, your ultrasound technician uses sound wave technology to generate images of your abdominal organs and blood vessels.

The simple noninvasive test measures your aorta and finds aneurysms. 

How is an aortic aneurysm treated?

Treatment for an aortic aneurysm depends on the location and size of your aneurysm and your medical history. Your plan may include medication or surgery.

Your cardiologist at Cardiology Associates of Frederick may recommend medical treatment that centers on your aortic aneurysm risk factors, such as medication to lower your blood pressure and cholesterol levels. 

They also talk to you about lifestyle changes, such as stopping smoking, eating a healthy diet, and exercising regularly, that benefit your cardiovascular health.

If your cardiologist has concerns of dissection or rupture of your aortic aneurysm, they may recommend surgery to repair or replace the bulging section of your aorta.

To schedule your aortic aneurysm evaluation, call Cardiology Associates of Frederick or click the online booking button today.