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If you take a look at the anatomy of the heart, you will see it is divided into four chambers. The upper two are knows as atria while the lower are called ventricles. The blood distributed to the body's systems with the help of a major artery called the aorta. It is the biggest vessel of the circulatory system.

Once oxygen-rich blood is pumped around the body, it needs to return to the heart to complete its cycle. The vena cava is the vein that performs this function. Blood from every organ and part of the body is returned to the heart via the vena cava superior and inferior. The arteries are located deep in the body, while the veins are usually closer to the skin.

In lean people, a person might see veins pumping blood to the heart. This is because there is no layer of fat between the skin and the veins, making the pumping visible. There is no need to worry if you often see your veins pumping with your heartbeat. Pumping may be seen in the abdomen as well as in other areas.

The most common areas where you may feel your heartbeat include:

  • The temporal area of the skull, on the sides of your forehead

  • The hand palm, the vein that drains your thumb

  • The wrist, on the outer side of your wrist

  • The ankle, on the tip of the ankle

  • The anterior neck, the front of the neck (usually after heavy physical activity)

A person may feel or see his heartbeat in these areas and this is absolutely physiological -- not pathological. Keep in mind seeing a pulse should not be accompanied by other symptoms. If you are feeling your pulse in the abdomen along with some other symptoms like pain or breathing difficulties, get yourself checked immediately.

A disorder known as Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms is also associated with a visible pulse in the abdominal region.

What are abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA)?

Aneurysm is a medical term that refers to the "unnecessary swelling of the wall of an artery". The localized unnecessary swelling of the abdominal artery is called abdominal aortic aneurysm.

What are the symptoms of AAA?

Abdominal aneurysm is a slowly progressive disorder. It may take weeks or months for the patient to develop symptoms. Patients who suffer from AAA usually remain asymptomatic until the artery has swollen to a certain extent. Once symptoms have developed, they gradually worsen over time. Some of the most common symptoms of abdominal aortic aneurysm include:

  • Feeling pulsation near the navel

  • Deep, diffused, and constant pain in the abdomen - usually on the sides

  • Back pain is also seen in some cases

This disorder may develop at any age due to some other disease, but AAA are more likely to develop people over the age of 50.

Is there any cure for AAA?

Yes, abdominal aneurysm can be treated with medical and surgical interventions. The treatment plan is completely dependent on the stage of the disease.

If you believe that you have any of the above symptoms, visit your doctor immediately. But if you are young, don't worry because AAA are not likely to develop at a younger age.

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