Saturday, May 28, 2011

Femoral Artery Aneurysm

A femoral artery aneurysm is a bulging or ballooning of the femoral artery due to a weakness in the walls of the artery. The femoral artery is located in the groin region, arising from the external iliac artery; and an aneurysm is a localized, blood-filled balloon-like bulge in the wall of a blood vessel. Although most people may never know they have a femoral artery aneurysm, especially if it is small, others may experience symptoms. Depending on the size of the aneurysm, the patient may be able to feel an actual lump. This lump may be pulsating. Another symptom is cramping in your leg while exercising. Risk factors for an aneurysm include diabetes, obesity, hypertension, tobacco use, alcoholism, high cholesterol, copper deficiency, and increasing age.

The treatment of femoral artery aneurysm has been limited to either surgical intervention, or watchful waiting in combination with control of blood pressure. In recent years, endovascular or minimally invasive techniques have been developed for many types of aneurysms. A medication called a thrombolytic agent that will help break up the clots that have formed may be administered. Surgical bypass and replacement are often needed to repair the site. In extreme instances, when the limb has suffered irreversible damage, you may be scheduled for an amputation.