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Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm

Aortic aneurysms in the chest area are caused by a weakening or bulge in the part of the aorta that comes out of the heart and arches down to the rest of the body. It affects men much more often than women. If the aneurysm bursts, it requires emergency treatment.

Thoracic aortic aneurysm symptoms

Most people with TAA have no symptoms until it begins to leak, expand or burst. Most are found during an X-ray or scan for another problem. Depending on your symptoms, the size of the aneurysm and the diagnosis, you may need surgery right away. If it is relatively small, your doctor may just want you to visit regularly to check for growth.

Some of the symptoms of a TAA are:

  • Coughing up blood
  • Coughing, wheezing or shortness of breath
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Hoarse voice
  • Pain in the chest, neck or back
  • Swelling in the head, neck or arms

Thoracic aortic aneurysm risks

Among the risk factors for thoracic aneurysm are:

  • Family history
  • Long-term hypertension
  • History of disease such as Marfan Syndrome, Ankylosing Spondylosis and others
  • Tobacco use

Thoracic aortic aneurysm treatment

Doctors at The University of Kansas Hospital use the most current techniques to guide treatment of vascular disease. Review the treatment options.