Abdominal aortic aneurysm: symptoms, evaluation and treatment

Most abdominal aortic aneurysms are asymptomatic. An aneurysm can be discovered by X-ray, computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) performed for other pathologies

Pain in the abdomen, chest, back or groin area is the most common symptom of an abdominal aortic aneurysm

The pain may be intense or dull.

The acute and sudden onset of severe pain in the back and/or abdomen may represent a rupture and is a life-threatening medical emergency.

An abdominal aortic aneurysm may also cause a pulsating sensation, similar to a heartbeat, in the abdomen


Normally, vascular specialists use computed tomography angiogram (CTA) to show detailed images of our patients’ arteries.

They use these scans to choose the best therapeutic approach.

The specialists review the patients’ complete medical data to assess how an endovascular stent procedure compares to traditional surgical options or to determine whether a combined approach is necessary.


Depending on the patient’s general health and specific condition, the specialists will recommend the most appropriate procedure.

UT’s Advanced Endovascular Aortic Programme in many Western countries focuses on the treatment of complex aortic diseases using minimally invasive total endovascular therapies.

With these devices, our vascular surgeons can repair most aortic pathologies, such as complex suprarenal and thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysms and chronic dissections, using this minimally invasive approach.

The endovascular approach to the aorta is suitable for most patients, even those who cannot undergo open surgery, ensuring a faster recovery.

If patients are suitable for an endovascular stent procedure that allows a faster recovery, the surgeon will use live X-ray images during the procedure to guide a catheter through a blood vessel to the location of the aneurysm.

Patients who are not candidates for an endovascular stent procedure may require an open repair approach.

Vascular surgeons will discuss the entire procedure with each patient and explain how traditional surgery offers the best possible treatment.

Abdominal aortic aneurysm, body veins are best for aortic grafts

A proven vascular surgery technique designed to replace infected aortic grafts with body veins has proven to be more durable and less prone to new infections than similar procedures using synthetic and cadaver grafts.

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UT Southwestern Medical Center

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