Aortic Aneurysm Surgery

Aortic Aneurysm Surgery is related to the Aorta. The walls of Aorta are tough and durable, but sometimes there appears a weakening or bulge in the walls. This is called Aorta Aneurysm. This may occur mainly in two spots i.e., abdominal region or in the chest region. Let us discuss the causes of Aortic Aneurysm and Aortic Aneurysm Surgery in detail.

Aortic Aneurysm – What is it?

An Aorta is a major blood vessel that carries blood from the heart to the rest of the body. An aortic aneurysm is a tube-shaped (fusiform) or round (saccular) bulge like abnormality that occurs in the walls of the aorta. Aortic aneurysms can occur anywhere along the aorta and may be of different shapes and sizes.

Types of Aortic Aneurysms:

Aortic Aneurysm occurs mainly in two regions of the body and is termed as follows:

  1. Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm – An aneurysm that occurs in the abdomen
  2. Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm – An aneurysm that occurs in the thoracic region also known as chest cavity.

The Aortic Aneurysm may occur in one of the above-mentioned regions and in some cases can occur in both the abdominal and thoracic regions.

Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm

Thoracic aortic aneurysms can start small and expand over time. They can be very difficult to detect early on as they grow very slowly and without symptoms. Sometimes an aortic aneurysm can lead to aortic dissection. An aortic dissection is a tear in the wall of the aorta that causes bleeding and can be fatal.

Symptoms and treatments for aortic aneurysm vary depending on the cause, size, and rate of growth of the aneurysm. Ideally, surgery can help treat an abnormal aneurysm before it can lead to dissection or bleeding.

Causes of Aortic Aneurysm

Factors that can contribute to an aneurysm include:

  • Atherosclerosis: Hardening of arteries can happen due to high blood pressure and high cholesterol that can build up as plaque on the artery walls. The extra pressure from plaque makes the arteries less flexible causing them to weaken and bulge.
  • Genetic conditions: In young people, genetic conditions like Marfan syndrome affect the connective tissue putting them at risk of thoracic aortic aneurysm. Other family-related disorders such as vascular Ehlers-Danlos, Loeys-Dietz, and Turner syndromes can also cause aneurysms.
  • Other heart problems: People with problems of valves in their hearts have an increased risk of thoracic aortic aneurysms.
  • Infections: Untreated infections such as syphilis or salmonella sometimes can develop into a thoracic aortic aneurysm.
  • Trauma injury: People involved in vehicle crashes or injured in falls might develop thoracic aortic aneurysms.

Risk factors for Aortic Aneurysm

  • Age > 65
  • Tobacco use
  • High blood pressure
  • Family history
  • Related conditions
  • Bicuspid aortic valve

Symptoms for Aortic Aneurysm

  1. Back pain
  2. Tenderness or pain in the chest
  3. Cough
  4. Shortness of breath

Aortic Aneurysm Surgery

Even though smaller sizes of aortic aneurysm do not require surgery, neglecting the aneurysm over some time can present a higher risk and can also become a life-threatening condition. Standard surgical treatment for a thoracic aortic aneurysm is done by replacing the weak portion of the aorta with a graft. The graft is also called a fabric tube and can be placed using the standard open-chest approach.

Surgical procedures may also include thoracic aorta endovascular stent graft, thoracic-abdominal repairs, ascending aorta, aortic arch, descending aorta procedures. Since thoracic aneurysms can occur anywhere along the aorta above the diaphragm including in the ascending aorta, the aorta arch and the descending thoracic aorta regions different surgeries are recommended for different types of aneurysms.

The location of a thoracic aneurysm determines the type of surgery and the area where the incision for surgery is to be made:

  • When the aneurysm is close to the aortic valve, the median sternotomy is done where the incision is made in the front of the chest.
  • Surgery is performed on the front chest area if the aneurysm is on the aortic arch.
  • A left thoracotomy is done if the aneurysm is in the descending thoracic aorta and an incision is made on the left side of the chest for this procedure.

Endovascular stent

Although open-chest aneurysm repairs are the standard surgical process for thoracic aneurysms Endovascular stent is also a popular procedure and showing promise in the treatment of some thoracic and abdominal aneurysms. In endovascular procedure thin, long tubes called catheters are used to guide a stent-graft through the blood vessels to the site of the aneurysm. Endovascular stents are sent through small incisions in the groin keeping the surgery and recovery easy and to minimally invasive technique.

Some patients with a thoracic aneurysm may also have other heart problems like valve disease, extensive aorta disease, or diseases concerning other major arteries. For such patients, a more complex surgery can be performed at the same time as aneurysm treatment. Therefore a good pre-surgery evaluation is needed from a good cardiothoracic surgeon who can give a comprehensive picture of the heart and thoracic problems and prescribe the right kind of treatment customized for each patient.

Consult the Best Cardiothoracic surgeon – Get yourself treated from Aortic Aneurysm

Since Aortic aneurysm treatment is a surgically complicated process, it requires an experienced cardiothoracic surgical team. Dr. P V Naresh and his special medical team have a considerable amount of experience in complex aortic operations, performing many aortic procedures in the super-specialty Yashoda Hospitals, Secunderabad. Dr.Naresh comes with an experience of more than 20 years in CTVS.

He has extensive surgical expertise in Off-Pump CABG Total Arterial Revascularization, Minimal Invasive Valve Surgery, MIDCAB, Aortic Aneurysm Repairs, and the Minimal Invasive Valve Repairs and Replacements.

He has performed more than 10,000 cardiothoracic surgeries and is well renowned among the cardiothoracic surgeons of Hyderabad. If you want to know more about the conditions related to cardiothoracic treatments or surgery, please visit To know more about a particular problem and treatment procedures, feel free to write to us with your queries.

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