Treatment Options for Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm

Talk to your doctor about which treatment option is right for you.

Watchful Waiting

Not all thoracic aortic aneurysms need surgery. If yours is small, your doctor may decide to wait and watch carefully to see if there are any changes. If you have high blood pressure, your doctor may prescribe medication to lower it. If you smoke, your doctor may suggest that you find help in quitting.

Your doctor may also ask you to make changes in your diet or exercise habits. If the doctor feels there is a risk that the aneurysm will burst, he or she may recommend one of two aneurysm repair methods – either open surgical repair or endovascular stent grafting.

Open Surgical Repair

Open surgery is performed under general anaesthesia. A surgeon first makes a cut in your side. Then, the aneurysm is replaced with a fabric graft that is sewn into place. Patients typically spend one night in an intensive care unit and then remain in the hospital for 5 to 7 days.

Endovascular Stent Grafting

An alternative to open surgery is called endovascular stent grafting or endovascular aneurysm repair (EVAR). Endovascular stent grafting is a procedure in which a stent graft (a fabric graft supported by a metal skeleton) is placed inside the thoracic aneurysm without surgically opening the tissue surrounding it.

Information on this site should not be used as a substitute for talking with your doctor. Always talk with your doctor about diagnosis and treatment information.

Last updated: 27 Sep 2010

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