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Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm
Know Your Risks for this "Silent Killer"
Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) is a hidden danger, because it is a symptomless disorder. It is estimated that 2.7 million Americans have AAA, but only half of these individuals have been properly diagnosed.
A "silent killer," AAA is a sac-like enlargement of the aorta, the largest artery in the body. Over time the pressure of circulating blood can slowly push the vessel wall outward. Like an inflating balloon, the larger the aneurysm becomes, the greater the likelihood that it will burst. A ruptured AAA results in severe, life-threatening internal bleeding.
The good news is that screening for AAA is simple and effective: If found early, the growth of the aneurysm can be carefully monitored with regular ultrasonography. In addition, if surgery is called for, new minimally invasive techniques are now available to repair the aneurysm and prevent rupture.
To schedule a screening for AAA at Columbia University Medical Center, please call James F. McKinsey, MD, Columbia Site Chief, Columbia Weill Cornell Division of Vascular Surgery of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, at 1.855.CUSURGE.
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