Health Plus: Your risk for abdominal aortic aneurysm - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Health Plus: Your risk for abdominal aortic aneurysm


You may not know what an abdominal aortic aneurysm involves, but a lot of eastern Iowans are at risk of having one.

In Health Plus, what you need to know about diagnosis and treatment.

It all started when Dan Gorman was shopping for groceries.

"Just unbelievable I've never sweat like that in my entire life you could just ring it out it was so bad," he said.

Now two years later Dan recalls what happened.

He was having an abdominal aortic aneurysm.

After emergency surgery at Covenant Medical Center in Waterloo and 28 days in intensive care, Dan is fortunate he survived.

"And it can prove to be potentially fatal," said Dr. Kamran Karimi, Dan's vascular surgeon Covenant.

Dr. Karimi wants to help patients be more pro-active.

The vascular surgeon uses ultrasound to screen for abdominal aortic aneurysm--which happens with a ballooning of the large artery that carries blood from the heart through the chest and stomach.

"The overwhelming majority of abdominal aortic aneurysms really do not produce any symptoms until they rupture and once they rupture they can cause severe back pain low blood pressure and even death without knowing," said Dr. Karimi.

Here's what you need to know about risk factors.

If you smoke, have emphysema, high cholesterol, heart disease or a family history of AAA and you are over fifty, you may be at high risk.

The good news, a non-invasive screening can save your life.

Abdominal aortic aneurysms are treatable with surgery.

"Screening is very straightforward and simple it's just a simple ultrasound where we look at the back of your abdomen with a probe and look at the aortic blood vessel," said Dr. Karimi.

"I knew I had blood pressure problems and I ignored it," Dan added.

Covenant is holding a screening for abdominal aortic aneurysm on Monday, April 15 from 8a.m. to 4p.m.

Talk to your primary care doctor first to see if you are at high risk for the condition before you schedule an appointment.

Call 319-272-5365 to sign up.

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