Mayo Clinic Minute: What is an aneurysm? End-shutdown

vivien williams: An aneurysm is an abnormal bulge or swelling in the wall of a blood vessel.

Bernard Bendok, MD, Neurosurgery, Mayo Clinic: A part of these patients will suffer a rupture. And the challenge with breaking up is that it’s unpredictable.

vivien williams: Dr Bernard Bendok says a ruptured aneurysm is a medical emergency that can cause a life-threatening brain hemorrhage.

dr. bendok: The typical presentation is someone having the worst headache of their life.

vivien williams: Prompt treatment is essential. It includes open surgery or less invasive options, such as sealing the broken artery from within the blood vessel with metal coils and/or stents.

dr. Bendok says that 1 to 2 percent of the population has aneurysms, and only a small percentage of that group will experience a rupture. People who have a family history of aneurysms, have polycystic kidney disease, connective tissue disease, and people who smoke are at increased risk of rupture and should consider screening. If a rupture occurs, prompt treatment can save lives.

For the Mayo Clinic News Network, I’m Vivien Williams.

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