The part of your aorta that runs through your chest is called the thoracic aorta, and when a weak area of the thoracic aorta expands or bulges, it is called a thoracic aortic aneurysm (TAA). Approximately 25 percent of aortic aneurysms occur in the chest.
Atherosclerosis, a disease in which plaque builds up inside your arteries, is frequently associated with aneurysm. However, it is not thought that this disease alone causes the growth of an aneurysm. It is believed that other factors, such as high blood pressure or connective tissue disorders, must be present for an aneurysm to form.
Many aneurysms do not have symptoms. They are detected during a routine physical exam or during X-ray evaluation for another disorder. Symptoms may occur when the aneurysm grows or disrupts the wall of the aorta. Symptoms depend on the size and location of the aneurysm and may include:
The doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. Pain is the symptom that will most likely cause you to go to the doctor. Most aortic aneurysms are discovered during a routine physical exam. Your doctor may need pictures of your heart. This can be done with:
The following procedures are offered for the treatment of a thoracic aortic aneurysm depending on a patient’s diagnosis:
There are no guidelines for preventing an aneurysm because the cause is not known. However, you can reduce some of your risk factors by following these recommendations:
At the Center for Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, every patient meets with one of our highly skilled, board-certified surgeons.
Vascular disease comes in many different forms and our world class surgeons are experts at diagnosing and treating a wide-spectrum of vascular diseases.
St. Elizabeth’s Cosmetic Vein Center offers both cosmetic and therapeutic treatments of varicose veins and spider veins.
The Vascular Lab provides many types of testing and diagnostic services to help diagnosis a variety of vascular diseases.
Many patients who come to the Center for Vascular and Endovascular Surgery at St. Elizabeth's have a story to share about their care, recovery, and success after surgery or other treatments.
Center for Vascular and Endovascular Surgery
St. Elizabeth's Medical Center
736 Cambridge Street
Brighton, MA 02135