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What is the best treatment for an aortic aneurysm?

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Quick Answer

The best treatment for an aortic aneurysm depends on the judgment of the treating physician, according to WebMD. The physician, taking into consideration the ability of the patient to withstand surgery, determines whether it is necessary to repair the aneurysm surgically or wait and monitor its growth.

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Full Answer

Aortic aneurysms that are causing serious symptoms or that are enlarging rapidly are at risk of rupturing, and doctors usually recommend surgical repair in these cases. In men, an abdominal aortic aneurysm that grows to 5.5 centimeters or larger in diameter is cause for repair. In women, doctors may recommend repair for smaller aneurysms. Physicians usually recommend repair of thoracic aortic aneurysms when they reach 5.5 to 6.0 centimeters in diameter, notes WebMD. Open surgery and a less invasive procedure, called endovascular repair, are a physician's two options for repairing an aortic aneurysm.

If the treating physician decides against surgery, he schedules regular tests to see if the patient's aneurysm is getting bigger. For smaller aneurysms, physicians usually prescribe medicine used to treat high blood pressure, such as a beta-blocker. Beta-blockers may decrease the rate at which aneurysms grow. The physician may also recommend lifestyle changes, such as a heart-healthy diet, limiting alcohol, smoking cessation and regular exercise.

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