Overview

What Is an Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm?

An abdominal aortic aneurysm (also AAA or triple A) is a bulging, weak spot in the wall of your descending aorta. This is the most common aortic condition. Approximately 15,000 people in the United States die each year from ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm. It is the nation’s 10th leading cause of adult death.

The aorta, the body’s largest artery, sends oxygenated blood to every organ in the body. It extends down from the heart through the chest (thoracic aorta) and into the abdomen (abdominal aorta).

Although aneurysms can occur in any blood vessels in the body, abdominal aortic aneurysms are the most serious because they increase the risk of:

  • Plaque buildup and heart attack
  • Blood clots and stroke
  • Dissection, a tear in the aorta
  • Rupture and massive, life-threatening internal bleeding

Six niche centers within Northwestern Medicine Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute offer patient focused, specialized care, making Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute a leading destination for both initial diagnoses and second opinions. These niche programs include physicians, nurses and a range of multidisciplinary specialists working with patients to navigate the complex health care system, ensuring continuity of care and a seamless shift from inpatient to outpatient services and ultimately home.

Contact Us
To schedule an appointment or inquire about services at Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, please call 312.NM.HEART (664.3278).

Cardiovascular Clinical Trials
For information regarding cardiovascular clinical trials:

Referring Physicians
Open communication and cooperation with referring physicians is a critical component of achieving high-quality care and minimizing the challenges that come with treating cardiovascular conditions. For physician-to-physician consultation regarding the best patient care, please contact Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute at 312.NM.HEART (664.3278).



Six niche centers within Northwestern Medicine Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute offer patient focused, specialized care, making Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute a leading destination for both initial diagnoses and second opinions. These niche programs include physicians, nurses and a range of multidisciplinary specialists working with patients to navigate the complex health care system, ensuring continuity of care and a seamless shift from inpatient to outpatient services and ultimately home.

Contact Us
To schedule an appointment or inquire about services at Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute at Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital, please call 847.53.HEART (534.3278).

Cardiovascular Clinical Trials
For information regarding cardiovascular clinical trials:



Six niche centers within Northwestern Medicine Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute offer patient focused, specialized care, making Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute a leading destination for both initial diagnoses and second opinions. These niche programs include physicians, nurses and a range of multidisciplinary specialists working with patients to navigate the complex health care system, ensuring continuity of care and a seamless shift from inpatient to outpatient services and ultimately home.

Contact Us
To schedule an appointment or inquire about services at Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute at Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital or Northwestern Medicine Delnor Hospital, please call 630.232.0280

Cardiovascular Clinical Trials
For information regarding cardiovascular clinical trials:


Related Resources