Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm

Thoracic aortic aneurysms in the chest 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 more often than women. If the aneurysm bursts, it requires emergency treatment.

TAA symptoms

Most people with TAA have no symptoms until the aorta begins to leak, expand or burst. Most aneurysms 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 the aneurysm is small, your doctor may ask that you visit regularly to check for growth.

Symptoms of TAA include:

  • 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

TAA risks

Risk factors for TAA include:
  • Family history
  • Long-term hypertension
  • History of disease such as Marfan syndrome, ankylosing spondylosis and others
  • Tobacco use
Thoracic aortic aneurysm graphic

Thoracic aortic aneurysm treatment

Doctors at The University of Kansas Health System use the latest and most advanced techniques to treat vascular disease.
Review the treatment options

Need help making an appointment?

Call 913-588-1227 or request an appointment online.