Medifocus Guidebook on Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm

A Comprehensive Patient Guide to Symptoms, Treatment, Research, and Support
 

 
Updated: January 19, 2017
144 Pages

 
 

What is an Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm?

The aorta is the main trunk of the arterial system that carries oxygenated blood from the heart to all points in the body. The aorta arises from the left ventricle of the heart and ends at the lumbar area where it divides to form the right and left common iliac arteries that run down each leg. The abdominal aorta is the portion that is located in the abdominal area between the renal arteries and the iliac bifurcation (split) and it travels down the frontal surface of the vertebral column (spine).

Arteries consist of three layers:

  • Tunica intima - the inner layer
  • Tunica media - the middle layer
  • Tunica adventitia - the outer layer

An aneurysm is an abnormal widening of an artery with an increase of greater than 1.5 times the normal diameter. It usually involves a weakness in the tunica media resulting in stretching of the tunica adventitia and/or the tunica intima. As blood is pumped through the artery, the weakened wall is stretched further often creating an egg-shaped ballooning. An aneurysm may have deposits of cholesterol, calcium, and even small blood clots. Aneurysms typically grow over time, usually at an average of 1/8 - 1/4 inch per year. Additional expansion can be caused by blood pressure within the aneurysm.

An aneurysm can occur in any blood vessel in the body, but it most commonly occurs in the aorta. A common site for an aortic aneurysm is the part of the vessel that is immediately below the renal arteries (which supply the kidneys with blood) but above the iliac arteries (which supply the legs with blood). This is called an abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA).

The aorta undergoes growth and increases in diameter during childhood, adolescence, and between the ages of 25 and 75 when the diameter increases by approximately 25%. Diameter of the normal aorta is larger in men than in women. The average size of a normal aorta ranges from approximately 1.7 cm. to 2.4 cm. depending on gender, body habitus, and age.

The International Society for Cardiovascular Surgery/Society for Vascular Surgery defines abdominal aortic aneurysm as a focal dilation (widening) of the abdominal aorta where the diameter is at least 50% larger than the expected normal diameter for that individual. The standard measurement accepted by many clinicians and clinical trials for a focal dilation to be considered an abdominal aortic aneurysm is a diameter greater than 3 cm.

The incidence and prevalence of abdominal aortic aneurysm increases with age, making this condition a significant issue as the population ages. It is most common in elderly men and occurs in 5% to 7% of people over the age of 65 in the United States. The ratio of men to women who develop an abdominal aortic aneurysm is 3:1. After age 65, the prevalence of 3 cm. aneurysms in men increases by approximately 6% per decade. It is estimated that the rate of clinically relevant aneurysm (4 cm. or more) increases approximately 2% to 4% per decade. Children can develop abdominal aortic aneurysms as a result of trauma or certain medical conditions but this is very rare.

Approximately 36 of every 100,000 surgical procedures performed in the U.S. is for repair of abdominal aortic aneurysms. Rupture of abdominal aortic aneurysm is the 10th leading cause of death in men over the age of 55. Abdominal aortic aneurysm is rare in women younger than 55. Mortality related to abdominal aortic aneurysm is most often (in up to 60% of patients) related to other cardiovascular causes.

It is of the utmost importance that aneurysms be diagnosed as early as possible and that patients be monitored carefully at regular intervals by ultrasound imaging in order make prudent decisions regarding elective surgical repair to prevent rupture and prolong life.

Knowledge is Critical when Dealing with a Life-Altering Condition such as an Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with an abdominal aortic aneurysm, it's critical to learn everything you possibly can about this condition so that you can make informed decisions about your treatment. That's why we created the Medifocus Guidebook on Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms, a comprehensive 144 page patient Guidebook that contains vital information about abdominal aortic aneurysms that you won't find anywhere in a single source.

The Medifocus Guidebook on Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms starts out with a detailed overview of the condition and quickly imparts fundamentally important information about abdominal aortic aneurysms, including:

  • The risk factors that increase a person's chances for developing an abdominal aortic aneurysm.
  • The signs and symptoms that may be associated with an abdominal aortic aneurysm.
  • A detailed overview of the natural progression of abdominal aortic aneurysms (patterns of growth and rate of expansion), including guidelines for threshold diameters to determine the appropriate time for elective surgical intervention.
  • The risk factors that have been identified that may increase the risk for rupture of an abdominal aortic aneurysm.
  • The secondary complications that may develop in people with an abdominal aortic aneurysm, including:

    • Rupture of the aneurysm
    • Aortic dissection
    • Arterial embolism
    • Intermittent claudication
    • Kidney damage
    • Heart attack
  • How an abdominal aortic aneurysm is diagnosed based on factors such as signs/symptoms, patient history, physical examination, and abdominal ultrasound.

Understanding the Standard Treatments... and the Treatment Options

The goals of treatment for patients with an abdominal aortic aneurysm are as follows:

  • Repairing the abdominal aortic aneurysm in a timely manner before complications develop.
  • Preventing rupture of the abdominal aortic aneurysm.
  • Managing and treating complications, if they develop.
  • Enabling patient's to continue to lead normal, productive lives.
  • Prolonging survival.

Understanding the standard treatments - and the treatment options - is critical for successfully achieving the goals of treatment for abdominal aortic aneurysms. As you read through the section of the Guidebook that focuses on the treatments for abdominal aortic aneurysms, you will specifically learn about:

  • The role of surveillance in the management of small abdominal aortic aneurysms that are less than 5.0 centimeters (cm) in diameter.
  • A review of recent studies from the medical literature comparing the outcome in terms of length of survival among patients with small abdominal aortic aneurysms who elected to undergo surgical repair versus patients who were managed by surveillance only.
  • The important clinical factors that doctors use for deciding when elective surgical repair of an abdominal aortic aneurysm becomes necessary.
  • A detailed overview of the two major types of surgical treatment options that are currently available for elective repair of abdominal aortic aneurysms, which are:

    • Open surgical repair
    • Endovascular repair (EVAR)
  • The risks, benefits, and complications of both open surgical repair and endovascular repair (EVAR) for the treatment of abdominal aortic aneurysms.

  • Why some patients may not be considered as appropriate candidates for endovascular repair of their abdominal aortic aneurysm.
  • The role of lifestyle modifications in the management of patients with an abdominal aortic aneurysm.
  • Quality of life issues that often confront people with an abdominal aortic aneurysm and how to minimize their impact and cope better with these issues.
  • Important questions to ask your doctor about abdominal aortic aneurysms.

A "One-of-a-Kind" Reference Guidebook on Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm that Goes Way Beyond the Fundamentals

Since 1996, when Medifocus was founded, we've learned that many people with Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm are seeking more specific information that goes beyond the fundamentals, such as the causes, diagnosis, standard treatments, and treatment options. That's why we developed a "one-of-a-kind" reference Guidebook that goes way beyond the basics and also includes the following sections:

  • A Guide to Recent Medical Literature on Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm - This section of the Guidebook contains an extensive bibliography of over 100 references to recently published articles about Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm in authoritative, peer-reviewed medical journals with links to the absracts (summaries) of the articles. These articles represent the latest advances in the field and focus on cutting-edge research, new developments, and the lessons learned from recently published clinical trials involving patients with Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm. This is the same level of that is used by doctors who treat people with Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm to keep abreast of the latest developments and breakthroughs in this specialized field of medicine.

  • Centers of Research for Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm - We've compiled a unique directory of doctors, hospitals, medical centers, and research institutions with special interest and, in many cases, clinical expertise in managing people with Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm. The "Centers of Research" directory is a valuable resource for quickly identifying and locating leading medical authorities and medical institutions both within the United States and other countries who are considered to be at the forefront in clinical research and treatment of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm. You'd have to spend days - or even weeks - attempting to compile your own list of doctors and medical centers but, with the "Centers of Research" directory, the information is already right at your fingertips. All you have to do is act on the information by selecting and contacting the experts or medical institutions listed in the directory by state and country.

  • Organizations and Support Groups for Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm - The Guidebook also includes a directory of organizations and support groups whose goal is to help people with Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm by providing access to information, resources, and services. Many of these organizations can answer your specific questions, enable you to "network" with other patients, and provide guidance in areas such as financial, social, or medical-legal issues. This valuable directory of organizations and support groups includes complete contact information, including phone numbers and E-mail addresses.

Look Inside the Guidebook

The Guidebook is a Value-Added Proposition that Comes with a Risk-Free Satisfaction Guarantee so that...You have Nothing to Lose and Everything to Gain

Still not sure if you'll benefit from the Medifocus Guidebook on Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm? Still not convinced that the information included in the Guidebook is worth the minimal cost? If that's the case, then please consider the following value-added proposition that comes standard with your purchase of the Guidebook:

  • Free Updates for One Year - With your initial purchase of the Guidebook, you also receive access to free updates for one-full year. The Guidebook is updated with new information every 4 to 6 months, so that you will be able to access the updated information several times during the course of a year for up to one full year after the date of your initial purchase.

  • Free Digest E-Mail Alerts - When you purchase the Guidebook, you will also automatically receive a free subscription to our monthly newsletter - the Medifocus Digest Alert for Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm. This is an expertly selected listing of the latest articles published in the medical literature about Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm with convenient links to the abstracts of the articles that focus on cutting-edge research, clinical trials, and the latest treatment advances. The Medifocus Digest Alert for Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm is automatically delivered straight to your "inbox" monthly and is a valuable resource for keeping up with the latest developments in Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm almost as soon as the new information is published in the medical literature.

  • 20% Discount - For a limited time, you can purchase the Medifocus Guidebook on Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm at a special 20% discount off the regular list price. Your 20% discount will automatically be applied when you go to "Checkout".

  • Risk-Free Satisfaction Guarantee - Your purchase comes with our RISK-FREE satisfaction guarantee. If, for whatever reason, you are not totally satisfied with the content of your Guidebook, simply contact us within 30-days of your purchase for a prompt, full refund. We are so confident that you will be satisfied with your Guidebook that we offer this RISK-FREE satisfaction guarantee unconditionally - no questions and no hassles.

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The Medifocus Guidebook on Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (144 pages; last updated January 19, 2017) is available in the following two convenient formats:

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Medifocus Guidebook on Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm


Updated: January 19, 2017
144 Pages

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What Our Customers Are Saying...

"Ten years ago I was diagnosed as having an abdominal aortic aneurysm while undergoing a routine ultrasound. While I was told of the possible fatal consequences of a rupture, I received no guidance from any of my physicians. The MediFocus Guidebook on Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm is the only source that provided me with the information that gave me confidence that I can find expert help should I need elective surgery. I could never have located all of the detailed, valuable information contained in the Guidebook. Having access to it has given me a level of confidence that I have the latest and most important information concerning this condition."
J.H.P.
Pensacola, Florida


"The MediFocus Guidebook on Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm was extremely informative and easy to understand...now I'm able to discuss my problem with my doctor in a more informed manner and make better decisions regarding my treatment. Thank you for pulling the information together in one place."
J.T.F.
Agoura Hills, CA


 
Medifocus Guidebook on Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm

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