An aneurysm is a bulge in the wall of one of your arteries, which are the vessels that carry blood from your heart to the rest of your body. A weak or damaged artery wall allows the tissue to stretch and balloon out into an aneurysm.
It’s very important to see your doctor if you suspect you have an aneurysm. If left unchecked, the aneurysm could burst and lead to internal bleeding, which is a medical emergency.
We provide immediate care for aneurysms, whether you’re seeing us for the first time or have visited us before. If you do come to Aurora Health Care as part of your regular care routine, we regularly check for aneurysms when we perform other tests, to catch problems early whenever we can.
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Conditions or actions that weaken or damage your artery walls can lead to an aneurysm. These risk factors include smoking, atherosclerosis (buildup of plaque that narrows your arteries), high blood pressure and more.
Genetics can also play a role, with aneurysms running in some families. People with an inherited condition called Marfan syndrome, for example, face a higher risk of developing aneurysms. We treat many people with this condition at our Center for Marfan and Aortic Disorders. Learn more about Marfan syndrome.
You could also develop an aneurysm if you are:
While you can develop an aneurysm in any artery, they form more frequently in certain locations:
We understand that hearing you may have an aneurysm isn’t easy. However, our team of experts is here to answer your questions and explain how we can help.
Some aneurysms don’t trigger any symptoms. That’s why our doctors are vigilant about screening older patients (age can be a factor) or anyone who has risk factors that could lead to an aneurysm. We don’t want any aneurysms to go unnoticed.
However, if you do experience aneurysm symptoms, they typically vary based on where in your body the aneurysm occurs:
It’s critical to catch and treat aneurysms as quickly as possible. If you don’t have any symptoms but are at risk for developing aneurysms, talk to your Aurora medical team. We may want you to come in for regular aneurysm screening tests.
The most common tests we use to diagnose aneurysms include:
Learn more about heart and vascular testing and diagnosis at Aurora.
You may not need treatment for small aneurysms that don’t have symptoms. Instead, your doctor might monitor your aneurysm closely for any changes.
If your aneurysm is large or causing symptoms, we may recommend: