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The aorta — our largest artery — is one of those internal body parts we tend to take for granted. Running from the heart through the chest and abdomen, it keeps us running by providing blood to the rest of our body.

Until it doesn’t. When the lower aorta swells it can rupture, leading to an abdominal aortic aneurysm, a condition that can cause life-threatening internal bleeding.

Even scarier? Three in every four patients suffering from an abdominal aortic aneurysm do not experience symptoms. It’s why many medical professionals refer to the serious condition as the silent killer. 

Fortunately, you can to arm yourself with the right information. Learn about the signs, symptoms, and treatment options by attending Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm - The Silent Killer, a free webinar taking place at 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 3, 2017. Lead by Dr. Joseph Lombard, Professor of Surgery and Chief of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery at Cooper University Health Care, and Advanced Practice Nurse Entela Ahmeti, the 30-minute webinar will cover everything from warning signs to treatment options.

An abdominal aortic aneurysm can grow slowly or expand quickly, making them tough to predict. But while the exact causes of the condition remain unknown, risk factors include everything from smoking to high blood pressure to abdominal trauma (think car accident). They are particularly prevalent in white males over the age of 65.

So what symptoms should you look for? Here are three most common in the event of an enlarging abdominal aorta:

  1. A pulse, like a heartbeat, around your naval

  2. Acute, chronic pain anywhere in your abdomen

  3. Lower back pain

If the aorta has already ruptured, you might also experience: sharp abdominal and back pains, sweatiness, dizziness, vomiting and/or low blood pressure.

The Division of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery at Cooper University Health Care is a comprehensive vascular care program designed to minimize complications from arterial and venous diseases and to treat problems with a minimally invasive method called endovascular surgery. Cooper vascular surgeons are among the best in the region--and the nation--and they have been ranked as top doctors by U.S. News & World Report, Best Doctors in America, Castle Connelly, Philadelphia magazine and South Jersey Magazine.

Don’t let the silent killer sneak up on you or a loved one. Learn about abdominal aortic aneurysm symptoms and how to treat the condition by registering for Cooper University Health Care’s free webinar.

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