Dr.Kamini Silvarajan MD/AAAM

Editorial Board: Kamini Silvarajan MD/AAAM

Cardiology Secret Killer

Male medicine doctor hands holding red toy heart

Mostly people think aneurysm as an instant killer or something that cannot be detected or prevented, and while it is true that many die of brain aneurysms each year, there are couple other kinds that cardiology professional see that are silent killers. Aortic aneurysms, both thoracic and abdominal can be detected, watched, and operated on for a life-saving effect; the difficult part is diagnosis.

Most of these bulges in the aorta are found either accidentally as a part of another exam or by doctors, such as cardiologists, who have deemed a patient as a risk. Risks factors include high blood pressure, smoking, genetics, fatty build up in the arteries, infections and trauma, and those who have exhibited some of these symptoms are usually already under the care of a cardiologist for other reasons when these tears and bulges are found.

If it is small upon discovery, the condition will be monitored while steps are taken to reduce the risk of rupture. First and foremost, smoking cessation is urged. Weight loss, a plan to lower blood pressure, and some dietary changes are also advocated. These arterial bulges take years to build up to a rupture, and while, yes, a rupture most likely is an instant killer, much can be done as an intervention once the condition has been diagnosed.

Thoracic aneurysms are those that happens in the chest, while the abdominal kind are found in the stomach. Both categories can be monitored over years before they become large enough concern to operate, and an operation can be life-saving, although the risks that any surgery carry can also be detrimental to the very essence of the situation.

As mentioned previously, trauma and infection can cause sudden growth and therefore rupture during the surgery. This is rare, but all surgical risks must be disclosed. The repair procedure involves strengthening the aorta by inserting a stent.

When someone have a genetic history of any of these types, if you are a smoker, have high blood pressure, or known poor heart health, you should consult your doctor about the risk factors, and seek regular appointments with a cardiologist in order to monitor the conditions that are causing you to be at risk.

Most are found accidentally as a result of a tests such as MRIs or CT scans, and while a lot are lucky in finding the condition early enough for monitoring and treatment, it is always a good idea to regularly check for the weakening of the arteries and vessels as part of your regular check-ups especially if you have more than one of the risk factors involved.