Abdominal aortic aneurysms often produce no symptoms as they develop, according to MedlinePlus, and it can be years before symptoms appear. Mayo Clinic states that as the aneurysm enlarges, the patient may experience deep, constant abdominal pain; back pain; and a pulsating feeling in the area of the navel. When an aneurysm ruptures, symptoms include abdominal or back pain, dizziness, clammy skin, nausea, vomiting, fainting and shock, notes MedlinePlus.
An abdominal aortic aneurysm occurs when an area of the aorta enlarges. The cause is unknown, but the condition is more common among males, smokers and those with high blood pressure. Genetic factors also play a role. An abdominal aortic aneurysm may be detected by a physician performing a physical exam on a patient, explains MedlinePlus. A palpable lump in the abdomen, stiffness of the abdomen and a pulsating sensation are signs of a possible abdominal aortic aneurysm. The condition may also be diagnosed using an ultrasound or a CT scan.
For small aneurysms, treatment may not be necessary immediately, explains MedlinePlus, and the physician may recheck the patient's condition periodically. Aneurysms of 2 inches or more are usually repaired surgically, preventing the possibility of a rupture. Once an aneurysms tears or ruptures, it is considered an emergency that only 20 percent of patients survive.