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Mercy Heart & Vascular Services

Conditions - Aneurysms


An aneurysm develops when a blood vessel becomes weakened and bulges or balloons. While some aneurysms are hereditary, certain lifestyle habits can increase the likelihood of developing an aneurysm. Risk factors for aneurysms that you can control include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and smoking. An aneurysm can develop anywhere in the body but the most common sites are:
  • the heart (aortic aneurysm)
  • the brain (cerebral aneurysm)
  • the leg (popliteal artery aneurysm)
  • spleen (splenic artery aneurysm)
  • intestine (mesenteric artery aneurysm)
Symptoms of a ruptured aneurysm can include pain, low blood pressure, rapid heart rate and vertigo or lightheadedness. Aneurysms can be detected by a CT scan or ultrasound. When an aneurysm ruptures it can cause stroke, disability or death. Aneurysms are typically treated surgically or through an endovascular stent repair.

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