Chest Pain: Why You Should Get Examined for an Aortic Aneurysm

Do you sometimes feel pain in your chest? You may be suffering from an aortic aneurysm, which must be treated by a heart surgeon if you want the problem to get better. In this article, learn about aortic aneurysms and how a specialist can treat them.

What is an Aortic Aneurysm?

The aorta is an important artery that is vital for providing blood to areas of your body like the legs and pelvis. The artery can develop and aneurysm if becomes weak, which is basically when the artery enlarges in an unnatural way.

It is important for you to get examined to get a proper diagnosis so the aneurysm can be treated. Failure to treat an aortic aneurysm can be fatal, as it can cause you to have a stroke or heart attack. However, it's hard to tell how serious it is because sometimes there are no symptoms involved.

A heart specialist can listen to your heart with a stethoscope to detect any signs of a heart murmur. If he or she hears a murmur in your heart, you will likely have to undergo additional tests before getting diagnoses with an aortic aneurysm. Some of the test may include:

  • Ultrasound
  • Computed tomography
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

How Can a Heart Specialist Treat It?

Treating an aortic aneurysm will depend on how large it is. For instance, a specialist may leave a small aneurysm as it is, but you may have to get occasional examinations to make sure it is not becoming too large. A large aneurysm will have to be treated surgical, and it can be done in several different ways.

One treatment method can include the removal of the enlarged area of the artery. The specialist will then replace the removed tissue and replace it with a graft of man-made material or metal stent. There is also an aortic valve in danger if the aneurysm grows too large. In such a case, the specialist may have to replace the aortic valve for your safety.

Experiencing chest pain does not automatically mean that you have an aortic aneurysm, but it is in your best interest to get examined, especially if the pain is prevalent. The sooner you are aware that an aortic aneurysm is present, the faster you can get treated and reduce the risk of a more serious problem. Make an appointment with a heart specialist such as Henrico Cardiology Associates to learn more.