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
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).