An aortic aneurysm is a bulging, weakened area in the wall of the aorta (the largest artery in the body), resulting in an abnormal widening or ballooning.
The most common location of an aneurysm is in the abdominal section of the aorta, specifically the area below the kidneys. However, aneurysms can also occur in the upper chest area of the aorta.
The larger the aneurysm, the more potential there is for rupture of the aorta, which is a life-threatening condition.
Aortic aneurysms may be caused by build-up of plaque called atherosclerosis, a defect present at birth or an infection.
If your aneurysm bursts, you may suddenly feel intense weakness, dizziness or pain, and you may eventually lose consciousness. This is a life-threatening situation, and you should seek medical attention immediately.
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