Green Bay, Wisconsin (WFRV) If you're a man over sixty and suddenly come down with back pain for no reason, you may need to get it checked out. Especially if you are, or once was, a smoker.
An Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm is a male predominant disease and it could be deadly.
In January, Albert Spude was having severe back and thigh pain.
"It hurts. I mean it takes you down, oh boy," described Albert Spude.
Albert went to Aurora BayCare Medical Center where he was given a CT scan. It showed an abdominal aortic aneurysm.
"An abdominal aortic aneurysm, abbreviated triple A, is a breakdown in proteins in the wall of the aorta causing it to be week in that area. Which then causes it to bulge out," explained Dr. Scott Weslow, Interventional cardiologist, Aurora BayCare Medical Center.
And if an aneurysm ruptures, "The key to any aneurismal disease is to catch it early before it ruptures. Once it ruptures it is more often than not deadly at this point," explained Dr. Weslow.
Dr. Weslow performed an endo vascular stent graft repair. "Where we go in through the leg arteries and we place a stent graph in the aorta to exclude the aneurism," said Dr. Weslow.
The other option was an open repair where the surgeon makes a long incision through the abdomen.
"In Albert's case we actually sent him home the next day. Open repair would be multiple days," said Dr. Weslow.
Dr. Weslow says Albert was lucky the back pain sent him in when it did.
"I think if nothing would have been done, I think a rupture would have been impending in the future," said Dr. Weslow.
Dr. Weslow says the most common symptoms to look for are abdominal pain and back pain.
The most important risk factor for developing an abdominal aortic aneurysm is smoking. While the most important risk factor that causes it to grow is high blood pressure.
Guidelines recommend men over 60 should be screened if they have a sibling or parent who had a triple A. Plus men between 65 and 75 who have ever smoked.
To learn more you can call Aurora BayCare at 866-938-0035 or email email@example.com <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org