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Thoracic aortic aneurysm repair is an advanced treatment option for thoracic aortic aneurysms (TAA). Depending on your individual needs, your doctor may recommend either:
In surgical aneurysm repair, your surgeon repairs or removes an aneurysm through an incision in your skin. Depending upon the type and location of the aneurysm, your surgeon may repair or replace your artery affected by an aneurysm using tissues from your body or synthetic fabric patches or tubes called grafts. Less commonly, your surgeon may use clips or clamps to stop blood from flowing into your aneurysm.
After open surgical aneurysm repair:
For both open surgical and endovascular thoracic aortic aneurysm repair, you will undergo follow-up imaging tests within the first few months after the procedure to ensure that the stent is still functioning without significant problems and in the proper location.
After the first year, you will probably undergo yearly imaging tests if your aneurysm is shrinking and no problems are found. You may require more frequent imaging tests if potential problems require closer monitoring.
If your thoracic aortic aneurysm is large or causing symptoms, you need active and prompt treatment. Your doctor may recommend actively treating through open surgical aneurysm repair or endovascular stent-graft repair.
If your TAA is small and not causing symptoms, your physician may recommend "watchful waiting," which means that you will be monitored every 6 months for signs of changes in your aneurysm. Your physician may schedule you for a CT scan or MRI every six months to watch the aneurysm.
Your doctor will advise you regarding the best option for your particular situation.