Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm

What is Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm

Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm

A Thoracic aortic aneurysm (TAA) is a localized bulging of the upper part of the aorta, result of an aortic wall weakness. The aorta is the main blood vessel-artery (~2cm diameter) that carries blood from the heart to the rest of the body.

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Symptoms of Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm

Most people are unaware that they have an aneurysm because in most cases they grow slowly and without symptoms. Most of the times an aortic aneurysm will be discovered incidentally by an x-ray, a computed tomography scan (CT scan), or a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) that was done for other conditions.

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Diagnosis of Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm

A thoracic aortic aneurysm is often discovered incidentally during an imaging study done for other reasons. Your doctor may first suspect you have a thoracic aortic aneurysm by looking at a chest X-ray

If your doctor thinks you might have an aortic aneurysm, you will likely have a medical history and physical exam. You will then have further imaging tests to locate the aneurysm and estimate its size:

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Treatment of Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm

Treatment of a thoracic aortic aneurysm is essential to reduce the risk of complications, mainly the risk of a rupture that can be lethal. The treatment depends on its size and rate of expansion, its location and shape, the symptoms and your overall physical condition.

It can be watchful waiting with medical treatment, endovascular minimally invasive repair or open surgical repair. All three options have a place in contemporary practice and your vascular surgeon will guide you towards the best option.

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vascular health

Vascular Surgeon

Dr. Efthymios (Makis) Avgerinos is a Vascular Surgeon, Associate Professor of Surgery in the Division of Vascular Surgery, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in USA.


Scientific Editing

Efthymios D. Avgerinos, MD, PhD, FEBVS
Associate Professor of Surgery
Division of Vascular Surgery, University of Pittsburgh
Medical Center Pennsylvania, USA