Palpitation is the awareness of the heart beating, or
the feeling of an abnormal beat noticed most commonly in the chest or in the
throat. But, there is a certain condition in which palpitations are perceived
on abdomen: Abdominal aortic aneurysm.
In a case of an abdominal aortic aneurysm, the palpitation on the abdomen can be the only symptom of the disease for many years.
Unlike the classic
palpitations, abdominal palpitations due to the aortic aneurysm are noticed
more as a pulsating feeling near the navel then an awareness of the heart
beating, or an abnormal skipping beat.
Palpitation on the abdomen is one of the most frequent symptoms of an abdominal aortic aneurysm. One feels pulsations near the navel which worsen in efforts.
An Abdominal aortic aneurysm is an abnormal bulge in the wall of an the abdominal aorta. The Aorta is the major blood vessel that supplies every body tissue with blood. Due to this fact, a rupture of the abdominal aortic aneurysm can cause life-threatening bleeding.
Usually abdominal aortic aneurysms grow slowly, and without symptoms which make them difficult to detect. Other aneurysms grow faster and thus pose a threat to the health and life itself.
If having an abdominal aortic aneurysm which is enlarging, one might have the following symptoms:
1. A pulsating feeling near the navel
2. A deep, constant pain in your abdomen or on the side of your abdomen
3. Back pain
Abdominal aortic aneurysms can have serious complications:
1. Rupture- the rupture of an abdominal aortic aneurysm leads to life-threatening bleeding. The large the aneurysm, the greater the risk of rupture
2. Blood clot- abdominal aneurysms have the risk of blood clots, which can be formed in the area of an aneurysm. If a blood clot breaks loose from the walls of an aneurysm, it can block any vessel in the body, causing sudden pain and block of the blood flow posterior to the blockage.
Since palpitation on the abdomen is symptom of an abdominal aortic aneurysm, will be cured by treating the underlying disease.
Following are the general guidelines for treating abdominal aortic aneurysm:
1. Small aneurysms- Aneurysms with less than 4cm diameter are classified as small. If having a small and asymptomatic aneurysm, the best way of handling it is the watch-and-wait approach (the observation).
Surgery usually is not an option in small aneurysms, because the risk of surgery outweighs the risks of rupture. The doctor will monitor your aneurysm every 6 or 12 months by means of ultrasound. If having symptoms such as abdominal or back pain, report immediately to the doctor.
2. Medium aneurysms- Aneurysms from 4-5.3 cm diameter are classified as medium aneurysms. If having medium size aneurysm, you should discuss with your doctor the risks and benefits of both, surgery and observation and choose the best option according to your conditions.
In the case of choosing observation, an ultrasound of an aneurysm every 6-12 months is a must.
3. Large aneurysms- Aneurysms with more than 5.3 cm diameter are classified as large. If having a large aneurysm, or a rapid-growing one( if it grows more than 0.5 cm in 6 months) then surgery is the best option.
There are two types of surgery in treating this two kinds of aneurysms:
1. Open abdominal surgery- it is an open abdominal approach which consists in removing the damaged section of the aorta and replacing it with a graft. Full recovery will take approximately one month.
2. Endovascular surgery- it is a less invasive procedure which consists in the insertion of a graft into an artery in the leg up to the aorta.
The recovery time is shorter than the open surgery, but the follow-up appointments are more frequent because the endovascular grafts can leak.
The option for the treatment of an aneurysm depends on various factors such as its location, the overall health, the age etc.
The best way to prevent an aortic aneurysm is to keep the blood vessels as healthy as possible. To do this, please find the following tips:
1. Quit smoking
2. Keep your blood pressure under control
3. Exercise regularly
4. Keep the cholesterol and fat level within the normal ranges.
case of having risk factors, consider talking to your doctor for extra measures
to prevent the development of an abdominal aortic aneurysm.