Treatment options for Thoracic Aortic Aneurysms

Treatment for thoracic aortic aneurysms

Thoracic Aortic Aneurysms is an enlarging or swelling of the aorta in your chest. It is a serious condition that should be addressed immediately as it could even become fatal. The blood that is pumped out of the heart is carried by aorta. Aorta is a big blood vessel that runs upward from the heart and is curved downwards through the chest and enters the abdomen

Common symptoms of Thoracic Aortic Aneurysms

You might have Thoracic Aortic Aneurysms symptoms if the aorta lining is torn or if it bursts. Symptoms also occur if it expands or pushes the surrounding nerves or tissues. Common symptoms are:

> Breathing difficulty
> Chest pain
> Difficult to swallow
> Coughing
> Wheezing

You could get a severe chest pain if a tear opens up in one of the aorta wall layer. This pain is sometimes misunderstood to be a heart attack.

How to diagnose Thoracic Aortic Aneurysms

If the Thoracic Aortic wall is expanding quickly, you could have a severe chest pain. Thoracic Aortic Aneurysms is diagnosed when you experience the chest pain as mentioned above or could be discovered when you get screened for some other reason.

> A CT or MRI scan is very useful to detect thoracic aortic aneurysm and its exact position
> A chest X-ray could display the widening of the aorta
> A transthoracic echocardiography which is an ultrasound sensor shows the image of the aorta
> A trans-esophageal echocardiography involving the passing of ultrasound sensor into the gullet or esophagus

Treating Thoracic Aortic Aneurysms

The treatment of Thoracic Aortic Aneurysms will depend upon the size and condition of aneurysm in the person.

Regular Check-ups

If the aneurysm is small and evolving, then you would probably not have to undergo a surgery but get screened regularly to ascertain the growth level. Monitoring your high blood pressure level is also important to control the growth of aneurysm. A few lifestyle changes also pave way to get rid of aneurysm.

Surgery

Your physician might recommend a surgery if your aneurysm is:

> Expanding fast
> Larger than 5.5cm
> Having breathing difficulty
> A family history of aneurysm
> Have Marfan syndrome

In case your aneurysm wall ruptures or leaks, you might have to undergo an emergency surgery. Thoracic aortic aneurysm includes two types of surgeries:

Open Surgery

In an open surgery, the physician opens your chest to reach out to the aorta. A graft is inserted into the weak wall of aorta. The graft could either be synthetic or could be a knitted or woven material. With the surgery, blood will flow through the graft inside your aorta instead of flowing through the aneurysm. Thus the aneurysm is prevented from getting any bigger.

Endovascular stent graft replacement

In the Endovascular aneurysm repair (EVAR), a stent is fed to the femoral arteries in your groin by your physician. The stent reaches the aorta through the aneurysm. Your surgeon will use X-ray images for placing the stent properly. The stent is a tube that is covered with synthetic graft material.