Aortic Aneurysm

Outcomes improve when you participate in the care you receive.

JoAnne M. Foody, MD, FACC, CardioSmart Editor-in-Chief
Learn more about Aortic Aneurysm

Your heart pumps blood into your aorta—the largest artery in your body. The aorta carries oxygen-rich blood from the heart to your entire body.

Sometimes the wall of the aorta can weaken. If this happens, the wall expands because of the constant pressure of blood flowing against it and may bulge or balloon out. This condition is called an aortic aneurysm. It can happen in your chest (thoracic aortic aneurysm) or abdomen (abdominal aortic aneurysm).

If you’ve been told you have an aortic aneurysm, it probably took you by surprise. Usually there are no symptoms. The aneurysm is often found by chance on imaging tests that were ordered to rule out other problems. Still, it can be a scary diagnosis. As the aneurysm gets bigger, it can burst, causing internal bleeding that is nearly always fatal. But through careful monitoring, you and your health care team can keep close tabs on the aneurysm to figure out the best course of action—one that helps you live a long, active life. 

Treatment depends on the location, size and cause of the aneurysm and how fast it is growing.  Treatment may include careful monitoring, surgery, medications, and/or lifestyle changes. Use this condition center to learn more about living with aortic aneurysm. You can also read about the latest research, create a list of questions to ask your doctor and much more.


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Self-Management Improves Outcomes for Patients with Heart Valve Implants

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A recent scientific statement weighed the pros and cons of using tests in healthy individuals between 12-25 years old.

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Enter the "I am CardioSmart" Patient Contest

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Tell us how you are living well with heart disease for a chance to win a trip to San Diego, CA.

Coca-Cola Family Track Walk in Richmond, VA

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Heart Group Says E-Cigarettes Require Strict Regulation

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Electronic cigarettes should be included in smoke-free air laws, according to the American Heart Association.

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Staying Active and Reducing Sedentary Time Key to Combating Obesity

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Study finds that increasing physical activity and limiting sedentary time is the best combination for obesity prevention.

Reducing Risk of Heart Complications During Surgery

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New guidelines help doctors and patients make the best possible decisions related to non-cardiac surgery.

Reducing Health Disparities in Hispanics and Latinos

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Short Runs May Help Adults Live Longer, Healthier Lives

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Minding Your Portions

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Pregnant and Breastfeeding Women Encouraged to Increase Seafood Consumption

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency recently updated guidelines regarding seafood consumption for pregnant and breastfeeding women.

E-cigarettes Can Help Smokers Quit

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Heart Events Worsen Outcomes for Patients with Chronic Kidney Disease

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Study highlights importance of heart disease prevention for patients with chronic kidney disease.

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