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An aneurysm is a weakened area of an artery wall that bulges or expands. Blood vessel walls can be weakened due to illness, injury or heredity. The risk of an aneurysm rupturing increases as it grows in size. A ruptured aneurysm causes internal bleeding that can lead to other serious life-threatening complications.
There are different types of aneurysms, including:
While the exact cause is unclear, an aneurysm may be caused by multiple factors that damage the wall of a blood vessel. The weakening of a blood vessel wall can be caused by:
Aneurysms that occur within the body or brain usually do not cause symptoms before they rupture. However, aneurysms that occur near the skin's surface can often cause a visible mass that is painful and throbbing. A ruptured aneurysm is very dangerous and requires immediate emergency medical care.
Symptoms of a ruptured aneurysm include:
The vascular surgeons at Ohio State's Wexner Medical Center have extensive experience with traditional open repair of aneurysms, including repair of complex cases. We are also expert at minimally invasive repairs, and have experience in the use of all of the available stent graft technologies available to treat a wide variety of aneurysms. Our participation in national clinical trials helps direct the development of the next generation of stent grafts for the treatment of aneurysms.
Aneurysms are often not accompanied by symptoms. Because of this they are usually detected during an examination for another condition.
Tests to confirm the presence of an aneurysm include:
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