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The aorta is the main artery that carries oxygen-rich blood from the heart to the lower body. A thoracic aortic aneurysm is a weakening or bulge of the wall of the aorta in the upper part that passes through the chest cavity.
Dignity Health is a nationally recognized leader in heart and vascular care. We offer a full range of diagnostic imaging and treatment from a team of cardiologists, therapists, nurses, dietitians, technicians, and other specialists. Dignity Health hospitals are Accredited Chest Pain Centers designated by the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care.
Call 844.852.0648 or Find a Doctor online with expertise in treating thoracic aortic aneurysm in Arizona. Cardiovascular services are offered at our St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center and Chandler Regional Medical Center campuses.
If a thoracic aortic aneurysm bursts, your doctor will perform emergency aortic aneurysm repair surgery to replace the damaged portion of the aorta with a synthetic vessel.
If a thoracic aortic aneurysm is found before it bursts or begins to leak, your care team will focus on preventing a rupture. This may include surgical procedures to replace or support the damaged portion of the aorta and medications to treat related conditions, including high blood pressure. When making decisions about surgery, doctors balance the risks of major surgery versus the risks of aneurysm rupture.
Aneurysms are caused by a weakening in the artery wall that makes it balloon or bulge outward. They are common in the aorta because of the high force created by blood pumping out of the heart.
Doctors do not know why some people get aneurysms and others do not. However, certain risk factors may increase your risk of developing a thoracic aortic aneurysm, including:
Most thoracic aortic aneurysms do not have any symptoms until they begin to leak or fully rupture. Signs of rupture include:
If you or someone near you experiences these symptoms, call 9-1-1 immediately. A ruptured thoracic aortic aneurysm is a medical emergency
Sometimes a thoracic aortic aneurysm will get very large without rupturing. This may cause high-pitched breathing sounds (stridor), hoarseness, or problems swallowing.