An AAA is called a “silent” problem, because it usually causes no symptoms. It’s sometimes found by a healthcare provider during a routine exam. More often, it’s detected when tests are being performed for an unrelated issue (x-ray, ultrasound, CT scan, MRI). Once an AAA has been found, tests will be done to measure its size and follow its growth. Symptoms include one or more of the following:
- A pulsing feeling in your abdomen, similar to a heartbeat
- Severe, sudden pain in your abdomen or lower back. If this is the case, your aneurysm may be about to burst
- On rare occasions, your feet may develop pain, discoloration, or sores on the toes or feet because of material shed from the aneurysm
If your aneurysm bursts, you may suddenly experience intense weakness, dizziness, or pain, and you may eventually lose consciousness.
This is a life-threatening situation and you should seek medical attention immediately.