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Thoracic Aneurysm

Board Certified Vascular Surgeons, Vascular Surgery & Cardiology located in Kalamazoo, Allegan, Battle Creek, Coldwater, Sturgis and Three Rivers, MI

Thoracic Aneurysm

Thoracic Aneurysm services offered in Kalamazoo, Allegan, Battle Creek, Coldwater, Sturgis and Three Rivers, MI

A thoracic aortic aneurysm is a weak, ballooning artery in your chest. You might not realize it’s there unless it ruptures, but the experienced team at Advanced Vascular Surgery throughout Michigan, can identify and treat the problem before it causes potentially life-threatening complications. To request your thoracic aneurysm evaluation, call Advanced Vascular Surgery or request an appointment online today.

Thoracic Aneurysm Q & A

What is a thoracic aneurysm?

An aneurysm happens when a weakened blood vessel expands or bulges, creating a blood balloon.

Your largest artery, the aorta, carries blood from your heart to all the other areas of your body. A weak area in the chest is a thoracic aortic aneurysm, which affects around 15,000 people across the United States each year. Some patients have more than one thoracic aneurysm or also have an abdominal aortic aneurysm.

Very few patients experience any symptoms with thoracic aortic aneurysms, and they’re often detected during investigations for another condition. However, if they rupture, they’re potentially life-threatening.

Only around 30% of patients who go to the hospital emergency room with a ruptured thoracic aneurysm survive. Therefore, it’s vital to treat large aneurysms early to prevent them from rupturing.

How is a thoracic aneurysm diagnosed?

You undergo a complete physical exam at Advanced Vascular Surgery to diagnose a thoracic aneurysm. Your provider might order further diagnostic procedures to assess the aneurysm in detail, such as:

  • Chest X-ray
  • Echocardiogram (heart ultrasound)
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Computed tomography (CT) scan
  • Angiogram
  • Intravascular ultrasound (IVUS)

After viewing your results, the Advanced Vascular Surgery team can determine the best course of action.

How is a thoracic aneurysm treated?

Treatment options for a thoracic aneurysm include:

Open surgical repair

During open thoracic aneurysm repair, your Advanced Vascular Surgery specialist makes an incision in your chest and removes the diseased section of the aorta. They replace it with a synthetic graft that allows blood to pass along the artery without creating a bulge.

Endovascular stent graft repair

Endovascular treatments use long, thin tubes called catheters that the Advanced Vascular Surgery team inserts in small incisions in your groin. They guide the catheter along the blood vessel to the aneurysm.

Your surgeon uses live X-ray pictures (fluoroscopy) that they view on a screen to guide a stent graft to the aneurysm site. Blood flows through the aorta along the stent graft without putting pressure on the aneurysm, preventing it from rupturing. Over time, a thoracic aneurysm treated with endovascular stent graft repair usually shrinks.

The procedure requires a shorter recovery time than open aneurysm repair, reducing your hospital stay to two or three days. Endovascular stent graft repair is the primary treatment for thoracic aortic aneurysms and trauma.

To arrange a thoracic aneurysm evaluation, call Advanced Vascular Surgery or request an appointment online today.

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