Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm

Thoracic aortic aneurysmThe aorta starts at a patient’s heart and continues throughout the body into the pelvis then branching into the legs. A thoracic aortic aneurysm is when the wall starts to degenerate or becomes thin from being stretched. There are two types of thoracic aortic aneurysms, a descending and an ascending. Vascular surgeons treat descending thoracic aortic aneurysms. An ascending thoracic aortic aneurysm would be treated by a different specialist.

In thoracic endovascular aortic repair (TVAR) the surgeon places a stent graft within the aneurysm to prevent rupture and allow blood to continue throughout the body. With this procedure the surgeon will make incisions at the groin and insert long, thin tubes called catheters which are guided to the aneurysm. The graft is then deployed within the aorta. Although hospital recovery for a patient is 1-2 days, a patient will need to have routine imaging to monitor the graft placement. A CT scan of the chest, abdomen and pelvis is usually ordered 30 days, 6 months and 12 months after the procedure, yearly thereafter barring any problems.

Learn more about thoracic aortic aneurysm.