There is a common misconception in people that having an aneurysm means bleeding in the brain. An aneurysm is in fact a balloon-like swelling in a blood vessel that can affect any large vessel in your body; these larger vessels being arteries. Aneurysms pose a risk to health from the potential for rupture, clotting, or dissecting. It is the pressure of the blood passing through a weak part of the blood vessel that forces it to bulge outwards, forming a sort of a blister. If the sac that is formed extends the artery too far, the vessel may burst, causing death by bleeding. Rupture of an aneurysm in the brain causes stroke, and rupture of an aneurysm in the abdomen causes shock. (THIJ, 2001)

Aneurysms are the cause of many deaths because they are usually silent until a medical emergency occurs. “One author has referred to an AAA as a "U-boat" in the belly, because they are silent, deep, deadly, and detectable by sound waves.” (Tilson)

It is extremely difficult to diagnose an aneurysm. Having a thin body and a moderately large sized aneurysm is the ideal conditions in which you or your doctor may be able to detect one. Most of the aneurysms are discovered as a   result of medical imaging for other conditions, by ultrasound exams, CAT scans, MRI's, or even plain X-rays of the abdomen. Aneurysms are also detected by physical exam, on a basic chest or stomach X ray, or by using ultrasound. The size and location can be found through echocardiography or radiological imaging, such as arteriography, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and computed topography (CT) scanning.

It is very hard to detect aneurysms as their symptoms are not provocative. “Abdominal aortic aneurysms may cause pain or tenderness below your stomach, make you less hungry, or give you an upset stomach. Cerebral (brain) aneurysms may have no symptoms, although you may have headaches, pain in your neck and face, or trouble seeing and talking.” (THIJ, 2001)

The treatment of aneurysms depends on the...