A thoracic aneurysm is an abnormal enlargement of the wall of the aorta in the chest. Life threatening complications of aneurysms include rupture and dissection. Timely diagnosis and treatment is critical. Thoracic aortic aneurysms are the 13th leading cause of death in the United States. The treatment of an aortic aneurysm depends on multiple factors including the size, rate of growth, location of the aneurysm, and the patient’s age. Patients with marfans syndrome and those with bicuspid aortic valve disease are at increased risk of rupture. At Northwest Regional Heart and Vascular aortic aneurysms are treated by a multidisciplinary team including cardiac surgery, vascular surgery, and interventional cardiology. Treatment may include medical management, stent graft repair, and open surgical repair.
Surgery for Aneurysmal Disease of the Aortic Root and Aorta.
Aortic root aneurysms are usually associated with leaking (insufficiency) of the aortic valve. Open chest surgery is usually required. Your surgeon will advise you regarding the options for aortic replacement including biologic and mechanical valve conduit versus valve repair. Aneurysms of the first part of the aorta in the chest (ascending aortic aneurysms) usually require open surgery with graft replacement of the aorta. Many aneurysms involving the descending portion of aorta can be treated with less invasive approaches including repair with long thin tubes called catheters introduced through a small incision in the groin (endovascular stent graft repair).