An iliac aneurysm is bulging and weakness in the wall of the iliac artery, a group of arteries located in the pelvis. An iliac aneurysm can burst, which can cause life-threatening uncontrolled bleeding.
- Atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries)
- Trauma from hip or lower-back surgery
- Being older than 60
- Being a man
- High cholesterol
- High blood pressure
- Genetic disorders
If you have an iliac aneurysm, you may have no symptoms. Symptoms include:
- Back pain
- Lower abdominal pain
- Groin pain
- Computed Tomography (CT) scan: X-ray views of the aortic artery are taken to determine if there are any aneurysms.
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan: Radio waves and magnetic fields are used to show areas where an aneurysm may be present.
- Angiography: A dye is inserted into the arteries through a catheter, then an X-ray is taken to show how blood flows through the arteries and whether any aneurysms are present. UVA's angiography/interventional radiology suites are equipped with technology that allows for 3-D images of aneurysms to help determine the best plan of treatment.
- Close monitoring: A patient may undergo regular screenings to check the size and growth of the iliac aneurysm to determine if treatment is necessary.
- Lifestyle changes: Steps such as quitting smoking, controlling diabetes and eating a low-fat diet to reduce cholesterol may help keep the aneurysm from growing.
- Medication: A patient may receive medicine to reduce cholesterol or blood-pressure levels. Carefully controlling high blood pressure is an important part of the treatment.
- Surgery: Surgeons may use a graft (a cylinder-like tube) to repair the aneurysm. In some cases, open surgery (requiring a larger incision in the chest) may be necessary to repair the aneurysm. UVA also uses minimally invasive endovascular techniques (only requiring a small incision in the groin) to repair iliac aneurysms.