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Unstable vesselsSometimes blood vessels become ticking time bombs. The vessel walls are unstable, due to the pressure in the interior of the vessel are formed Aussackungen. This is hardly noticeable, so most people are not aware of the danger. Whether in the abdomen or in the brain: bursting aneurysms, this is life-threatening. There is a threat of massive blood loss or a stroke. Read here how aneurysms sometimes become noticeable and who is particularly at risk.
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A matter of predispositionThe predisposition to aneurysms is often innate - for example, due to connective tissue weakness. Those who have first-degree relatives who have had an aneurysm should be checked for safety. Certain genetic diseases are also associated with frequent aneurysms. These include Marfan syndrome, Loeys-Dietz syndrome and Turner syndrome.
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Lifestyle decidesBut even an unhealthy lifestyle promotes aneurysms. They develop, for example, in hypertension or if the vascular walls change due to arteriosclerosis. Smoking, lack of exercise and obesity thus contribute indirectly to an aneurysm. Other aneurysms occur in the course of infections.
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Symptoms in the stomachMostly aneurysms do not cause discomfort. They are then discovered by chance or only when they break. However, a large abdominal aortic aneurysm causes abdominal pain in some patients. Back pain and increased urination are also possible symptoms. Some sufferers feel that they have a pulsating bladder in their stomach. That is indeed the case.
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Symptoms in the chestAneurysms in the chest are different. Large specimens can cause respiratory and swallowing difficulties, coughing and hoarseness. Some patients also have circulatory disorders in the arms or brain, depending on the location of the vessel.
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Symptoms in the headSome aneurysms in the head put pressure on a nerve. Then paralysis, for example, in the face occur. If an aneurysm breaks in the brain, the patient suffers a life-threatening stroke.
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How to treat?From a certain size and when there is an increased risk that the aneurysm ruptures, surgery is usually performed. The aneurysm can be stapled or, if it is hard to reach, also culled. In doing so, a wire is inserted into the aneurysm, which is then balled into a ball of bone. Platelets attach and close the outflow. In an aortic aneurysm, the surgeon usually replaces the dilated portion of the vessel with a vascular prosthesis.
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Balance risksThe operation of an aneurysm is not without danger. Possible complications include stroke or pulmonary embolism, damage to the heart muscle or kidney dysfunction. Therefore, physicians and patients must always weigh the risks of the operation against the risks of the untreated aneurysm. If an aneurysm bursts, 50 percent of patients do not survive the bleeding.
By Christiane FuxMedicine editor
Brain aneurysm: diagnosis
If the aneurysm in the head does not cause any discomfort, the doctor usually only detects it by accident. In case of a ruptured aneurysm, the symptoms often lead to the suspicion of a neurological disease. An aneurysm in the brain and cerebral hemorrhage in a ruptured brain aneurysm can be well visualized by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computed tomography (CT).To the table of contents
Aneurysm in the brain: therapy
There are two important methods by which an aneurysm in the brain can be treated. One possibility is an operation in which the surgeon opens the skull. Then he closes the aneurysm from the outside using a clip (so-called clipping).
In the other method, the doctor visits the affected area in the brain via a blood vessel. He fixes the aneurysm by using a so-called coil (Coiling). It is a platinum spiral that fills the aneurysm from the inside.What do my lab values mean?
Aneurysm in the head: prognosis
The forecast at one Aneurysm in the brain depends on various factors. If the brain aneurysm is discovered and treated by chance, the chances of recovery are good in many cases. If, on the other hand, there is a cerebral hemorrhage because the aneurysm is torn, the prognosis depends mainly on the extent of the bleeding and how fast it is treated.