Mid-Atlantic Cardiothoracic Surgeons

Sentara Heart Hospital, 6th Floor • 600 Gresham Drive, Suite 8600
Norfolk, VA • 757.388.6005info@macts.com
Header image

Aortic Disease

A thoracic aortic aneurysm is a weakened area in the upper part of the aorta. The aorta is the major blood vessel that feeds blood to the body.

A thoracic aortic aneurysm may also be called thoracic aneurysm and aortic dissection (TAAD) because an aneurysm can lead to a tear in the artery wall (dissection) that can cause life-threatening bleeding. Small and slow-growing thoracic aortic aneurysms may not ever rupture, but large, fast-growing aneurysms may.

Depending on the size and growth rate of your thoracic aortic aneurysm, treatment may vary from watchful waiting to emergency surgery. Ideally, surgery for a thoracic aortic aneurysm can be planned if necessary.

Surgeries for thoracic aorta include:

  • Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm Open Repair — is an open chest surgery to repair a thoracic aortic aneurysm involves removing the damaged section of the aorta and replacing it with a synthetic tube (graft), which is sewn into place.
  • Aortic Root Replacement — is a surgical procedure used for replacing a damaged aortic root with synthetic or biological components. In the valve-sparing procedure, the damaged portion of the aorta is removed but the segment containing the valve remains attached to the heart.
  • Endovascular Aneurysm Repair (EVAR) — also called Endovascular Stent Repair, is a minimally invasive procedure that requires only small incisions in the groin. Using an X-ray for visual guidance and specially designed instruments, surgeons repair the aortic wall with a stent-graft.