Premier Cardiac and Vascular
Cardiologists located in Annandale, VA & Fredericksburg, VA
You can’t always feel an aneurysm, which is the ballooning of a blood vessel, but if it bursts, it’s a life-threatening emergency. At Premier Cardiac and Vascular in Fredericksburg, Virginia, Anita Banerjee, MD, FACC and Ashok Talreja, MD, FACC, FHRS, can assess your risk for an aneurysm and provide the most appropriate management to reduce complications. For a consultation, call the office today or book an appointment online.
Aneurysm Q & A
What is an aneurysm?
An aneurysm refers to a bulging or ballooning in one of your arteries. Aneurysms develop due to a weakening in the artery wall that allows the area to bulge.
You may be at risk of developing an aneurysm if they run in your family or if you’re a smoker.
Where can aneurysms occur?
Aneurysms can occur anywhere in your body, but certain areas and arteries are more at risk. The most common areas affected include:
- Aortic aneurysm: The main artery to your heart
- Cerebral aneurysm: Ballooning in an artery in your brain
- Mesenteric aneurysm: Ballooning in an artery in your intestines
- Popliteal aneurysm: Aneurysm that develops in your leg behind your knee
- Splenic artery aneurysm: Aneurysm in the artery in your spleen
Smoking is a significant risk factor for not only heart disease but also the development of aneurysms.
What are the symptoms of an aneurysm?
Aneurysms develop slowly over time and don’t usually cause symptoms. The only way to know if you have one is to get screened. However, if your aneurysm is close to the surface of your skin, you may experience swelling and pain at the site of the bulging.
If you have an aneurysm, it’s important to know the signs and symptoms when it bursts, such as:
- Sudden pain
- Nausea and vomiting
- Rapid heartbeat
- Low blood pressure
You need to go to your nearest emergency room or call 911 if you suspect your aneurysm has burst.
How are aneurysms diagnosed?
Dr. Banerjee screens for aneurysms using an ultrasound, angiogram, or CT scan. She recommends you get screened if aneurysms run in your family or if you’re a smoker. She also recommends all men over age 50 be checked for descending and ascending aneurysms with an ultrasound.
What is the treatment for an aneurysm?
If Dr. Banerjee finds an aneurysm during your screening, she may recommend continued close monitoring to check for changes. She also recommends lifestyle modification to prevent unnecessary stress on your arteries, such as:
- A healthy diet
- Stress management techniques
- Regular exercise
She also provides specific instructions to help you manage any underlying health condition that may increase your risk of heart disease, such as diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure.
An aneurysm can be managed. For screening and care, call Premier Cardiac and Vascular today or book an appointment online.
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