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Visceral Artery Aneurysm

An aneurysm is a bulge or weakened area in an artery. A visceral artery aneurysm is uncommon, occurring in an artery that brings blood to your liver, kidneys, spleen, or intestines.

At the UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute, our surgeons in the Division of Vascular Surgery are experts at treating visceral artery aneurysms.

We take a team approach to provide a quick and accurate diagnosis. And, we tailor a treatment plan to meet your personal needs.

Contact the UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute

To request an appointment, contact the UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute:

What Is a Visceral Artery Aneurysm?

A visceral artery aneurysm is a bulge or weakened area in an artery that brings blood to your visceral organs, including your:

  • Liver
  • Spleen
  • Kidneys
  • Intestines

Visceral artery aneurysm risk factors and causes

Visceral artery aneurysms are somewhat uncommon.

Some causes can include:

Visceral artery aneurysm complications

Visceral artery aneurysms can lead to serious problems if they rupture, or burst.

The larger the aneurysm, the more likely it is to burst and cause life-threatening internal bleeding if not treated.

For this reason, early diagnosis and regular imaging tests are vital to prevent complications such as rupture.

Visceral Artery Aneurysm Symptoms and Diagnosis

Most visceral artery aneurysms cause no symptoms. Doctors often find the aneurysm by chance during an exam for other health reasons.

Visceral artery aneurysm symptoms

When there are symptoms of a visceral artery aneurysm, you may feel:

  • Pain in your stomach or back.
  • A lump beneath the skin in your stomach.

These symptoms may mean that the aneurysm has grown and is pressing on your organs or other structures.

If blood clots are present in the aneurysm, they may break off and enter nearby organs blocking blood flow. This causes stomach or flank pain.

Visceral artery aneurysm diagnosis

To diagnose a visceral artery aneurysm, your vascular surgeon will give you a thorough exam and use imaging tests like:

  • Ultrasound
  • CT scan
  • MRI

Visceral Artery Aneurysm Treatment

The main treatment goal for a visceral artery aneurysm is to prevent it from bursting through early diagnosis.

Treatment options will vary based on:

  • The location of the visceral artery aneurysm.
  • The extent of the disease.
  • The size of the aneurysm.
  • Your overall health.

Treating small visceral artery aneurysms

Small aneurysms require regular follow-up. Your doctor will closely keep an eye on the size.

He or she will also help you with lifestyle changes like:

  • Quitting smoking.
  • Controlling blood pressure.
  • Managing cholesterol.

Treating larger visceral artery aneurysms

Your doctor may treat larger aneurysms through minimally invasive endovascular or open surgery to repair it before it ruptures.