Pain in your belly or back can have many causes. If it comes with unexplained tiredness, it could be a sign of a visceral aneurysm. A visceral aneurysm is a weakness in the wall of the arteries running through your belly and back. The weakness causes a bulge in the wall of the artery, like a balloon. If your artery wall bulges out too much, it can rupture or burst. That can cause life-threatening bleeding.
Visceral aneurysms happen in arteries found in your belly area:
- Celiac artery
- Superior mesenteric artery
- Inferior mesenteric artery
- Hepatic artery
- Splenic artery
- Renal arteries
In some cases, visceral aneurysms don't have any symptoms.
Visceral Aneurysm Treatment at UVA Health
Visceral aneurysms don't usually need repair unless they are larger than 2 cm. Treatment options for visceral aneurysms include:
- Catheter-based embolization
- Stent-graft placement
Embolization is a non-surgical, minimally invasive procedure where blood flow is cut off to the area and rerouted around the aneurysm.
You may need surgery if the aneurysm is in a place where embolization or stent-graft placement can't be done.
How Did I Get a Visceral Aneurysm?
You may be more likely to get visceral aneurysms if you:
- Have diabetes
- Have high blood pressure or high cholesterol
- Have a family history of atherosclerosis