Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm Repair
Turn to Adventist HealthCare for surgical care to treat a thoracic aortic aneurysm.
What’s a Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm?
A thoracic aortic aneurysm is a bulging, weak area in the wall of the aorta, the largest artery in the body, in the chest. This can lead to an abnormal widening or ballooning of the aorta, which makes the wall of the aorta weaker and thinner. If the wall becomes too thin, it may tear, causing severe internal bleeding.
Sometimes, the aorta may dissect. This means the layers of the aortic wall tear and separate from each other, causing blood to fill the layers between the aortic walls.
Symptoms of a Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm
You may not have symptoms if you have an aortic aneurysm. But if it ruptures, you may have severe chest pain, trouble breathing, low blood pressure, loss of consciousness or other problems. If this happens, you’ll need emergency medical care.
Treatment depends on the location of the aneurysm, its size and whether it’s ruptured. You may take medications to help lower blood pressure and relax blood vessels to prevent a rupture.
Depend on your care team to choose the best treatment for you. You may have:
- Endovascular stenting – Uses a tiny metal or plastic tube (stent) to strengthen and hold an artery open through minimally invasive techniques, which means you’ll have smaller incisions and a faster recovery
- Removal of the aneurysm to prevent rupture – Takes out the aneurysm during open-chest surgery and replaces a section of the aorta with a graft
- Surgical thoracic aneurysm repair – Takes out a ruptured aneurysm during open-chest surgery and replaces a section of the aorta
Aortic Heart Valve Repair
You may have surgery to treat the aortic valve, if needed, at the same time as thoracic aortic aneurysm repair.