An aneurysm is a bulging part of a blood vessel, caused by a weakening of the vascular wall. With the continued pressure from the blood with every single heartbeat, the aneurysm can continue to grow in diameter until it bursts leading to internal bleeding. The most common sort of aneurysm, prevalent in approximately 5% of men at 65 years old, is an aortic aneurysm, the rupture of which leads to massive internal bleeding and is fatal in over 75% of previously undiagnosed patients. Approximately 80% of aortic aneurysms occur in the abdomen – at the level of and between the renal arteries (leading to the kidneys) and the common iliac arteries (leading to the legs and lower body).
Every year approximately 600,000 people worldwide are diagnosed with an aortic aneurysm and around 200,000 of them are treated.