Heart Disease - Aortic Aneurysm
The treatment of an aortic aneurysm depends on its severity. In cases where an abdominal aortic aneurysm does not exceed five centimeters or a thoracic aortic aneurysm does not exceed six centimeters, patients should be monitored with diagnostic exams every few months. Drug therapy may also be prescribed to lower blood pressure or cholesterol. Beta blockers are often the drugs of choice for aortic aneurysms.
If the size of the aneurysm places the patient at high risk for rupture, stent grafts (expandable wire mesh tubes) may be placed using angiographic image guidance to bypass the aneurysm. The procedure typically involves grafting two stents together, one above the aneurysm and one below. The stents will divert the flow of blood around the aorta instead of through it.
After the discovery of an aortic aneurysm, precautionary measures should be taken by the patient, and monitored by the physician, to prevent worsening of the condition. These measures include dietary changes, increasing physical activity, not smoking, limiting alcohol intake, etc.