Q:

What does it mean when you can feel a pulse in your stomach?

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Quick Answer

A pulsating feeling near the navel may be due to an abdominal aortic aneurysm, according to Mayo Clinic. Other symptoms include a deep, constant pain in the abdomen or on the side of the abdomen and back pain. An abdominal aortic aneurysm is an enlargement of the aorta, a major blood vessel that runs from the heart through the chest and abdomen. If an aneurysm ruptures, it can cause life-threatening internal bleeding.

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Full Answer

Treatment for an abdominal aortic aneurysm depends on its size and rate of growth, reports Mayo Clinic. In some instances, doctors may recommend watchful waiting to monitor the aneurysm and plan for surgical correction if needed. This is often the case for small aneurysms that measure 1.6 inches or less. Watchful waiting generally entails ultrasound exams every six to 12 months. Doctors also advise patients to look for symptoms of dissection or rupture, such as back pain and abdominal tenderness.

Fast-growing or leaking aneurysms measuring 2.2 inches or greater typically require surgical intervention, notes Mayo Clinic. The goal of surgery is to repair the tear or rupture, usually with a synthetic graft placed during an open or endovascular procedure. Doctors take multiple factors into consideration when recommending surgery, including the location of the aneurysm, the age of the patient and the patient’s kidney function.

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