Morning Mix


Treating Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms

Posted at 11:48 AM, Mar 02, 2017

When it comes to veins and arteries, vascular surgeons treat all types of blood vessels outside of the brain and heart with surgery and minimally invasive procedures. One disease that contribute to heart and vascular diseases is Aortic Aneurysm Disease (AAA).

Dr. Joshua Greenberg, a vascular and endovascular surgeon from Mercy Health Physician Partners Vascular Surgery, discussed how AAA can easily be treated with minimally invasive surgery.

AAA is the dilation of the largest artery in the body, the aorta, with 90 percent of AAAs occurring below the arteries to the kidneys. A variety of factors can lead to a person having heart disease and predispose to AAA such as smoking, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.

Most people never know that they have an aneurysm, unless it ruptures or is found when looking for something else. Symptoms to look out for are a pulsating feeling near the navel, deep constant pain in the abdomen or the side of the abdomen, or back pain.

Obviously patients with symptoms or even rupture need to be fixed urgently or even immediately. AAA can be safely treated or cured with early diagnosis.

The size, location, and complexity of the AAA and the patients general health, will determine how an aneurysm should be treated. When the aneurysm is small, doctors might recommend periodic check-ups to monitor the aneurysm. However, a larger, or rapidly growing aneurysm poses more risk of rupture (or bursting), and as such, may require treatment.

Thanks to more advanced technology and medicine, treating AAA is no longer a risky surgery. The advent of endovascu­lar aortic aneurysm repair (EVAR) involves special stents delivered from the groins to treat abdominal aortic aneurysms. This is a milestone in the care of a disease that previously required major open surgery and weeks to months for recovery.

Learn more about Mercy Health vascular services at