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Aorta tear: dangerous aneurysm often goes unnoticed

Aorta tear: dangerous aneurysm often goes unnoticed

Doctors warn of the life-threatening risks of an aorta tear

Artery dilations (aneurysms) are known in the professional world as “silent killers”, which strike without any real warning and can have fatal consequences for patients. With the help of improved early detection, the risks could be significantly reduced, according to medical experts.

Ultrasound examinations could help to determine the risk of aortic disease at an early stage and take appropriate countermeasures, the experts at the German Heart Center in Munich report in advance of the first Munich aortic conference on diseases of the main artery next weekend.

As Professor Hans-Henning Eckstein from the Clinic for Vascular Surgery of the Clinic on the right of the Isar told the news agency "dpa", aneurysms are one of the main reasons for the sudden rupture of the aorta. A tear in the largest vein in the human body usually has fatal consequences. However, according to the expert, aortic aneurysms affect "not only the main artery itself, but also many other vital organs such as the heart, coronary arteries, brain, spinal cord, digestive organs and kidneys." To minimize the risk of a fatal aortic tear, the doctors at the German Heart Center plead in Munich for a significant expansion of the aneurysm checkups. Because if the aneurysms are detected early, a tear in the "main street in the human body" can often be avoided, explained the vascular surgeon Eckstein.

Artery dilatation as a "silent killer" According to the experts at the German Heart Center, the spread of diseases with aorta damage has increased significantly in recent years, with pathological dilatation of the aorta (aneurysms) taking the largest share. According to the statement by the vascular surgeon Professor Eckstein, the problem is that the artery dilation is usually without symptoms. The patients "don't feel it, that's the perfidious", Eckstein explained the call of the aneurysms as "silent killer". The pathological enlargement of the aorta is often only recognized in the course of routine examinations, with various medical disciplines dealing with their diseases due to the long path of the aorta through the body. According to the medical experts, men over the age of 65 are at increased risk of an aneurysm, especially if they are smokers. Accordingly, "the best drug is to quit smoking," emphasized Professor Eckstein. According to the expert, smokers or ex-smokers have a particularly high risk that their aorta will tear. As a sign of an aorta tear, the vascular surgeon describes "severe abdominal or back pain, sweating" and a drop in blood pressure. The crack can "happen at any time of the day" and does not necessarily have to be caused by a particular physical strain, explained Eckstein. According to the expert, around 30,000 patients a year in Germany require medical care due to a disease of the aorta, with surgery being necessary in most cases.

Preventive examinations reduce the risk of an aorta tear. However, the medical experts at the German Heart Center in Munich warn that improved preventive examinations can significantly reduce the risk of life-threatening aortic diseases. With the help of a timely ultrasound examination, for example, risk factors such as aneurysms could be discovered at an early stage. Vascular surgeon Professor Eckstein emphasized that such screening is widespread in Great Britain or the USA, for example. In Germany, however, such preventive examinations have so far not been covered by health insurance companies, the expert criticized. With the roughly € 30 examination, the risk of an aorta tear could be significantly reduced, but "we're not there yet," emphasized Professor Eckstein. In the opinion of the medical staff at the German Heart Center in Munich, on the one hand, politicians are required to ensure that health insurance companies assume the costs, and on the other hand, family doctors should also increasingly offer their patients appropriate preventive medical check-ups.

Treatment by experienced vascular and cardiac surgeons recommended. If surgery is required, the expert advises the patient to consult an experienced vascular or cardiac surgeon and to obtain a second opinion in any case. Because, according to Professor Eckstein, the risk of operations on the aorta should not be underestimated. In Germany, around five percent of patients die each year directly during the procedure or as a result of the aorta operation, the vascular surgeon emphasized. Patients should therefore go to facilities where such interventions are “often done”, Eckstein explained. The Clinic for Vascular Surgery of the Clinic on the right of the Isar and the Clinic for Heart and Vascular Surgery of the German Heart Center Munich jointly founded the Munich Center for Aortic Diseases (MCA) at the Technical University of Munich in May, with the aim of "interdisciplinary treatment of aortic diseases Intensify. ”Cardiac and vascular surgeons, anesthesiologists, radiologists, cardiologists and nephrologists work closely together to deal with the complex aortic diseases such as congenital malformations (eg narrowing called stenoses), acquired diseases (eg aneurysms) and splitting of the layers treat the vessel wall (dissections) as best as possible. With the first Munich aortic conference on November 4th and 5th, an exchange between the expected two to three hundred participating international experts is also to be initiated in order to further improve treatment in the future. (fp)

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