Thoracic aortic aneurysm (TAA) occurs in the part of the aorta that passes through the chest cavity. They are less common than abdominal aortic aneurysms. An aneurysm that involves a thoracic aorta extending into the abdomen is called a thoracoabdominal aneurysm. Our multidisciplinary team of specialist works together to develop the best treatment plan for each patient.
Risk factors for thoracic aortic aneurysm include:
- Atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries)
- Marfan Syndrome
- Other connective tissue disorders
- High cholesterol
- High blood pressure
- Trauma or Injury
Many patients with thoracic aortic aneurysm may have no symptoms until the onset of severe pain, which can signal a life-threatening condition. If the aneurysm ruptures, emergency care is needed. Other symptoms of a thoracic aortic aneurysm may include shortness of breath, chest, back, neck or jaw pain, hoarseness, coughing, wheezing, difficulty swallowing, fainting, weakness, nausea and vomiting.
The best treatment option depends on a number of factors, including the size, shape and location of the aneurysm, and the age and overall condition of the patient. Each approach has risks and benefits, and patients should understand all of their options to make an informed decision. Treatments for thoracic aortic aneurysm include minimally invasive repair, open surgical repair or no procedure at all.