Peripheral aneurysms, a weak area of a blood vessel that expands or bulges, affect the other arteries and not the aorta. Most peripheral aneurysms occur in the popliteal artery, which runs down the back of the lower thigh and knee.
Peripheral aneurysms may be caused by infection or injury in unusual circumstances, but the actual cause of most peripheral aneurysms is not known with certainty. Researchers believe that atherosclerosis may be associated with many peripheral aneurysms. Atherosclerosis is a disease in which plaque builds up inside your arteries and slows the amount of blood flowing through the arteries.
Factors that may increase your chance of getting peripheral aneurysms include:
Signs and symptoms of peripheral aneurysms may include:
To determine if someone has peripheral aneurysm, a health care provider will ask questions about general health, medical history and symptoms. Then they will perform a physical exam. If your health care provider suspects a peripheral aneurysm, further diagnostic testing will be recommended.
Treatment of a peripheral aneurysm depends on the location of the aneurysm, the size of the aneurysm, symptoms, and whether or not the aneurysm is completely blocked by clots. In the situation that a popliteal aneurysm is blocked but there are no symptoms, surgery may not be performed. Instead, a physician may recommend the following:
If a peripheral aneurysm does require surgical treatment, the following procedures are offered depending on a patient’s diagnosis:
There are no guidelines for preventing an aneurysm because the cause is not known. However, you can reduce some of your risk factors by following these recommendations:
At the Center for Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, every patient meets with one of our highly skilled, board-certified surgeons.
Vascular disease comes in many different forms and our world class surgeons are experts at diagnosing and treating a wide-spectrum of vascular diseases.
St. Elizabeth’s Cosmetic Vein Center offers both cosmetic and therapeutic treatments of varicose veins and spider veins.
The Vascular Lab provides many types of testing and diagnostic services to help diagnosis a variety of vascular diseases.
Many patients who come to the Center for Vascular and Endovascular Surgery at St. Elizabeth's have a story to share about their care, recovery, and success after surgery or other treatments.
Center for Vascular and Endovascular Surgery
St. Elizabeth's Medical Center
736 Cambridge Street
Brighton, MA 02135