Peripheral Aneurysm

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Peripheral aneurysm

The Christ Hospital Heart & Vascular Institute offers leading-edge screenings and treatments for peripheral aneurysms, from long-term surveillance and medical management at our dedicated aneurysm clinic, to the latest minimally invasive surgical  options.

As Greater Cincinnati's Heart HospitalSM, our vascular experts are board certified and trained to handle complex aneurysms  along with other vascular conditions that can affect your circulation. They are well-trained in minimally invasive and traditional revascularization options and provide comprehensive care closer to home for patients with aneurysms and vascular disease.

Call The Christ Hospital at 513-585-2264 to schedule an appointment with one of our vascular experts or to request a second opinion.​

What is a peripheral aneurysm?

A peripheral aneurysm is a bulge in an artery outside the aorta or heart, caused by a weakening in the artery wall. Most occur in the popliteal artery, behind the knee, but they are also commonly found involving the femoral artery in the groin. They also occur with less frequency in the arteries of the arms, the carotid arteries in the neck, and arteries that go to abdominal organs including the renal arteries which supply blood to the kidneys.

Peripheral aneurysms are much less likely to rupture than aortic aneurysms but when left untreated they can develop blood clots that restrict blood flow to your limbs or break off and move to other parts of the body. They can also cause compression on surrounding nerves and veins producing pain, swelling, tingling or numbness. In extreme cases, these conditions can lead to tissue or limb loss . When an aneurysm occurs in the carotid artery, there is an increased risk of a stroke.

What are the risk factors for peripheral aneurysm?

A personal or family history of peripheral or aortic aneurysms along with the risk factors for vascular disease contribute to the formation of peripheral aneurysms. Additionally, having a peripheral aneurysm increases your risk of having an aortic aneurysm. Risk factors include:

  • Smoking

  • Obesity

  • High blood pressure

  • High cholesterol

Symptoms and diagnosis of peripheral aneurysms

Many peripheral aneurysms are asymptomatic and go undetected, while others are diagnosed incidentally during routine imaging tests for other purposes including vascular disease. In other cases, you may start to experience symptoms such as:

  • Pain or numbness in your arms or legs​

  • A throbbing lump in the neck, limbs, or groin

  • Cramping in the legs with exercise

  • Sores on fingers and toes that will not heal

Talk to your doctor if you experience these symptoms. In some cases, your doctor may suspect a peripheral aneurysm based on symptoms found during your annual physical. Further tests to diagnose peripheral aneurysms include:

  • Ultrasound

  • CT scan

  • MRI

Treatment of peripheral aneurysms

Once a peripheral aneurysm is diagnosed, the need for treatment is determined on an individual basis by size, location, imaging results and medical history. Our vascular experts will consult with you to determine the best treatment options. Treatment options include:

  • Endovascular repair: During this minimally invasive procedure, a stent graft which is a metal mesh tube with waterproof fabric, is inserted within and across the site of the aneurysm to reline and seal it from the circulation. At the same time, it allows blood flow to move through and past the aneurysm to other arteries downstream.

  • Open surgical repair: During open vascular surgical repair, the surgeon makes an incision and either replaces the damaged area of the artery with a graft sewn to healthy artery above and below the aneurysm or uses one to create a bypass around the aneurysm after the aneurysm is tied off.

  • Endovascular coiling: This is a minimally invasive option during which the surgeon guides a coil, or a soft, flexible wire, into the aneurysm via a catheter. This stops blood flow in the aneurysm but allows other arteries nearby to take over.

All surgical treatment options generally require a period of monitoring and follow-up to determine that there is no blood flow in the aneurysm and that the repair has worked as intended.

Talk to our experts about your options for peripheral aneurysm care

Call The Christ Hospital at 513-585-2264 to:

  • Schedule an appointment with an aortic aneurysm expert

  • Request a second opinion​

  • Refer a patient

Why choose The Christ Hospital for peripheral aneurysm?

  • Top 50 heart hospital. The Christ Hospital has been named one of America's 50 Best Hospitals for Cardiac Surgery by HealthGrades and one of the World's Best Hospitals for Cardiology by Newsweek.

  • Sp​ecialized expertise. We offer the most extensive expertise across the spectrum of heart and vascular care. Our doctors are known leaders in cardiovascular care and are focused by specific conditions.

  • ​​Clinical research. Our doctors have developed many new techniques in cardiovascular medicine over the past 20 years. Patients have access to treatments not found at many other hospitals.
  • Heart and vascular support groups. ​ For patients with heart-related conditions, we offer education and support. We encourage you to share your experiences to learn how to live your healthiest life.