Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA) is a vascular problem that is treated at Scottsdale Healthcare. AAA occurs when a weak area of the abdominal aorta – the largest artery in your body which supplies blood to the lower part of the body – expands or bulges like a balloon. Aneurysms can burst or rupture, causing massive internal bleeding, a situation that is usually fatal.
Symptoms: While many people with AAA feel no symptoms, those with symptoms describe them as:
- A pulsing feeling in the abdomen
- Severe, unexplained, sudden pain in the abdomen or lower back
- In rare cases, pain, discoloration or sores on the feet
Risk Factors: Those with the following criteria may be at an increased risk of AAA:
- Men older than 60 years of age
- Those with a family history of AAA
- Those with high blood pressure
Screening: Nearly 200,000 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with AAA each year. Of these, approximately 15,000 cases may be severe enough to cause death if not treated. Since there may not be symptoms, AAAs are often discovered through a screening. Scottsdale Healthcare periodically offers a screening for AAAs.
Procedures: Our Endovascular Program offers stent grafts for abdominal aortic aneurysms. A stent graft is a fabric and metal tube placed inside the aorta at the site of the aneurysm. This stent graft strengthens the weakened aorta, allowing blood to flow through the area unimpeded.
Stent Grafts for Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms (AAAs) involve the placement of a fabric and metal tube (a stent graft) inside the aorta, the largest artery in the body, at the site of an aneurysm – a bulging and weakening of the blood vessel. This stent graft strengthens the weakened aorta, allowing blood to flow through the area unimpeded.
Stent grafts for Thoracic Aortic Aneurysms (TAAs) are similar to stent grafts for AAAs, but are designed to treat aneurysms that occur in the part of the aorta that runs through a person’s chest.
Carotid Stenting is a procedure that helps prevent stroke caused by carotid artery disease, a narrowing of the artery due to a buildup of plaque. A vascular surgeon inserts a small metal-mesh tube, called a stent, into a patient’s carotid artery, which is located in his or her neck. Once in place, the mesh expands, increasing blood flow in the blocked areas.
Peripheral Stenting increases blood flow in areas constricted by plaque due to peripheral artery disease. A stent is placed in the in blood vessels outside the heart and brain to increase blood flow in areas constricted by plaque.
Balloon Angioplasties are procedures in which a vascular surgeon inflates a small balloon inside a narrowed blood vessel, widening it to improve blood flow.
Minimally Invasive Surgery
The Endovascular Program offers endovascular procedures using minimally invasive techniques. Compared to traditional open procedures, endovascular procedures offer many benefits, including:
- Less pain
- Smaller scars
- Faster recovery times
- Faster surgery
- Local or regional anesthesia instead of general anesthesia
- Reduced need for blood products
- Less stress on the heart
- Reduced risk of mortality