Advertisement

What is an aneurysm?

Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Practitioner

An aneurysm occurs when the force of blood flow pushes against a weakened artery wall and causes it to bulge. If left untreated, an aneurysm can rupture and cause internal bleeding. If the internal bleeding is severe enough, ruptures can be fatal. Aneurysms can occur in the aorta—the artery responsible for delivering blood from your heart to the rest of your body—the brain, and other places in your body.

A network of arteries and other blood vessels runs through your body, carrying blood from your heart to the rest of your body. An aneurysm is a bulge in a blood vessel wall. The artery wall stretches outward as the pressure of the blood it carries pushes against a weak portion in the wall. If the artery wall is very thin, the aneurysm can rupture, causing internal bleeding. While aneurysms can occur in various places throughout the body, aneurysms in the brain artery, heart artery and abdominal aorta are common and can be life threatening particularly if they rupture.

Continue Learning about Aneurysms

When can minimally invasive surgery be used for aortic aneurysms?
Columbia University Department of SurgeryColumbia University Department of Surgery
Many aortic aneurysm surgeries can be performed with minimally invasive methods. Compared with tradi...
More Answers
How will my doctor decide if I need aortic surgery?
Columbia University Department of SurgeryColumbia University Department of Surgery
There are cases where surgery is necessary, but this is determined on an individual basis. The size ...
More Answers
What causes a thoracic aneurysm?
The Medical Center of AuroraThe Medical Center of Aurora
Causes of thoracic aortic aneurysm are generally genetic, including being part of childhood syndrome...
More Answers
What are the risk factors for abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA)?
HealthCorpsHealthCorps
In this condition, the large blood vessel called the aorta that supplies blood flow to the abdomen, ...
More Answers

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.