Aneurysms – What you should know

Click here to watch my full report on aortic abdominal aneurysms.

I was invited into the operating room to see a relatively new procedure that is saving lives.  My story was on abdominal aneurysms. It’s when the blood vessel wall has a weak spot and start to balloon out. Eventually, as blood flows through it, it will burst.  When that happens in the abdomen… it’s almost always deadly.  Dr Satish Muluk of Allegheny General Hospital told me hundreds of thousands of people have aneurysms right now and don’t realize it…. and what’s worse is there are no warning signs.

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Dr. Satish Muluk/Allegheny General Hospital

Jim Howvalt from West Virginia (he’s passionate about WVU sports! he and my photographer Ken couldn’t stop talking about that right before his surgery!) found his in time.  He was having a stent put in his heart when doctors spotted the problem.  The old method required full open surgery. Now, doctors are able to fish a stent graft up the artery through the groin, all the way up to the aneurysm. Doctors are able to watch the whole maneuver on monitors. When sealed, blood will flow through the graft so the aneurysm won’t burst.  Aneurysms are the third leading cause of death among men. Now, the easiest way to catch it is through a physical exam with your doctor but there is one thing that you can do yourself at home to check:  Dr Muluk said if you can feel a pulsating bulge in your belly you should see a doctor right away.  The best way to catch them is by getting an exam by your doctor.  Researchers still aren’t sure what causes aneurysms but do say smoking and high blood pressure makes the condition worse.

My thanks to Dr Muluk and to Jim Howvalt for letting me share this with you!

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