What is pseudo-aneurysm?

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Pseudo-aneurysm: Overview

A pseudo-aneurysm is a hole in the wall of a blood vessel (artery). The blood from inside the artery can then leak out of the artery. It is most common in the artery that runs from the hip to the knee. It can be caused by the puncture of an artery during a medical test, such as certain heart tests. People who take blood thinners are more likely to develop a pseudo-aneurysm.

Some pseudo-aneurysms heal without treatment. Those that continue to grow larger may need treatment. The doctor may inject medicine through a needle to make the blood clot in the pseudo-aneurysm. He or she may also use pressure (compression) to make the blood clot. If these do not work, you may need surgery to repair the hole in the artery.

How can you care for yourself when you have pseudo-aneurysm?

  • Be safe with medicines. Take your medicines exactly as prescribed. Call your doctor if you think you are having a problem with your medicine.
  • Ask your doctor what type and level of activity is safe for you.
  • Manage blood pressure. A healthy lifestyle along with medicines may help you lower your blood pressure.
  • Manage cholesterol to help keep your blood vessels healthy. A healthy lifestyle along with medicines may help you manage cholesterol.
  • Do not smoke. If you need help quitting, talk to your doctor about stop-smoking programs and medicines. These can increase your chances of quitting for good.
  • Eat heart-healthy foods. These include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish, and low-fat or nonfat dairy foods. Limit sodium, alcohol, and sweets.
  • Stay at a healthy weight. Lose weight if you need to.
  • Manage other health problems. If you think you may have a problem with alcohol or drug use, talk to your doctor.

Pseudo-aneurysm: When to call

Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:

  • You have sudden chest pain and shortness of breath, or you cough up blood.
  • You passed out (lost consciousness).

Call your doctor now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • You have sudden or increasing pain in your groin.
  • Your leg or foot is cool or pale or changes color.
  • You have tingling or numbness in your foot.

Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor if:

  • You do not get better as expected.

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The content above contains general health information provided by Healthwise, Incorporated, and reviewed by its medical experts. This content should not replace the advice of your healthcare provider. Not all treatments or services described are offered as services by us. For recommended treatments, please consult your healthcare provider.