Aortic Aneurysm: Symptoms & Treatment

Aortic aneurysms are more common in older people, but they can affect anyone.

The aorta is the main artery that carries blood from the heart to other organs of the body. It travels down through the chest and abdomen, where it then divides and sends blood to both legs. An aneurysm that develops along this blood vessel is called an aortic aneurysm, and there are two types [1]: abdominal and thoracic. An aneurysm is a blood-filled bulge or balloon that develops along a blood vessel often due to weakness in its walls. By themselves, aneurysms are not typically harmful but they can be if they rupture. Thankfully, not all aneurysms rupture. Aortic aneurysms are rapidly fatal if they rupture, so doctors often try to manage them before this complication arises. Management is easier if this condition is diagnosed early. Unfortunately, most people with aortic aneurysms do not experience any symptoms until the aneurysm ruptures, leaks, or imposes on nearby organs and tissues. This article will cover symptoms that may be indicative of aortic aneurysms and available treatment methods.


The symptoms of aortic aneurysms are often delayed. When they begin to manifest, the specific symptoms sometimes depend on the type.

Abdominal aortic aneurysms

If you have this type, you may notice any of these symptoms [2]:

  • Pulsation around your belly button
  • Persistent pain in your sides or abdomen
  • Back pain
  • Sweating
  • Nausea and vomiting

Only about 20 percent [3] of people with a ruptured abdominal aneurysm survive. Call 911 immediately if you suspect your aneurysm has ruptured. Seek medical care as soon you notice these symptoms.