Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm

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About a disease

Description

The aorta is the largest artery in the human body, through which blood flows from the heart to all other human organs. The part of the aorta that runs into the chest is called the thoracic aorta. In some diseases, the structure of the aortic wall is disturbed, its diameter increases – this is called an aortic aneurysm. Approximately 25% of all aneurysms occur in the thoracic region, the remaining 75% are in the abdominal aorta.

It is important to remember that the presence of a thoracic aneurysm is associated with the risk of rupture of the aorta, and the occurrence of life-threatening bleeding.

If a thoracic aortic aneurysm ruptures, only 20-30% of patients survive, even if they are quickly rushed to hospital. Therefore, it is important to recognize and begin treatment in the early stages of aortic aneurysm formation.

Symptoms

Unfortunately, in about half of cases, there are no signs of the disease in the early stages. Symptoms depend on where the aneurysm is located, how large it is, and the presence or absence of aortic dissection. The following complaints are possible:

– Pain in the back, neck, lower jaw

– Chest pain

– Cough, hoarseness, shortness of breath

Diagnostics

– Chest X-ray

– Echocardiography

– Magnetic resonance imaging

– CT scan

– Angiography

Treatment

Surgical treatment of aneurysm of the thoracic aorta is carried out by open surgery, which consists in replacing the affected area of ​​the aorta with an artificial blood vessel – an aortic prosthesis. After surgery, it may take from 7 days to 1 month to recover. It depends on the nature of the operation, as well as the presence of concomitant diseases of the heart, lungs, kidneys.

In addition to open surgery, depending on location of the aneurysm, its shape, the technique of endovascular treatment can be performed. A long narrow tube called a catheter is inserted into the aorta through a small puncture of the artery in the thigh. A special vascular prosthesis is inserted through the catheter and fixed to the normal parts of the aorta above and below the location of the aneurysm.

This method of treatment is minimally invasive and has an easier rehabilitation. The recovery period after surgery is shorter – only 2-3 days. However, it cannot be applied in all cases.

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