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Aortic Aneurysm Treatment

After a myocardial infarction, an aneurysm of the heart can occur due to the new inadequate resistance of the new scar tissue to the systolic pressure. This is not to be confused with a coronary artery aneurysm. A coronary artery aneurysm is an aneurysm of the vessels supplying the heart, not the heart itself. An aortic aneurysm is also often confused with a pseudoaneurysm or a myocardial rupture, which involves a whole in the wall not just a bulge.

A Bulge or ‘pocketing’ of the wall or lining of a vessel commonly occurring in the blood vessels at the base of the brain, or within the aorta is what the word aneurysm is referring to. It is called a cardiac aneurysm and is usually seen in the left ventricle of the heart when it concerns the heart muscle.

An aneurysm is often seen in the walls of the left ventricle, which is the lower chamber of the heart. It is thought to occur in the lower chamber of the heart as the blood in this area carries the highest amount of pressure forcing the walls to bulge. An aneurysm can develop very slowly over the years and does not often cause any problems during this period of time. A heart attack, which is also known as a myocardial infarction, can often be the cause of an aneurysm. This develops very slowly due to a rise in pressure.

As it tends to develop slowly, symptoms of an aneurysm may go unnoticed. In most cases, the only way of finding out that it has occurred is when other medical conditions are present. These other medical conditions present are usually very serious such as blood clots, causing strokes and blockages in other blood vessels.  As the blood in the ventricle does not pump out as it should and collect and thicken in the bulged area, these blood clots form.

A patient will undergo an electrocardiogram to diagnose an aneurysm. An electrocardiogram is given by a hospital or doctor when the patient is experiencing other symptoms, especially if the patient has a history of heart problems. Electrocardiograms monitor electrical activity within the heart and shows abnormalities when a cardiac aneurysm is present. An aneurysm can also appear as a bulge on a chest x-ray. An echocardiogram will be used for a more accurate diagnosis, which uses ultrasound to photograph the heart and hot it functions while it beats.

Diagnosis and treatment will not be given as some people live with this type of aneurysm for many years. Blood thinning agents may be given to help reduce the likelihood of blood thickening and clots forming. If diagnosed properly, along with the use of drugs to correct the irregular rhythm of the heart, which is seen on the electrocardiogram, surgery will be offered. Surgery is often used to remove the bulge and repair the damaged area. This can be quite difficult so it is often used as a last option due to the risks that it carries.

Most people are unaware that they are living with a cardiac aneurysm. In order to reduce the likelihood of an aneurysm occurring along with all of the possible side-effects and consequences, it is far better to reduce the risk of heart attack and keep blood pressure within healthy limits. One thing that plays a very important role in this prevention is lifestyle choices. Careful consideration should be given when participating in activities such as heavy smoking and drinking. Regular stress should also be kept as low as possible to avoid causing heart complications.

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