An aneurysm is a bulge located in a blood vessel. Aneurysms occur if the wall of the aorta becomes weakened by the build up of fatty deposits called plaque or atherosclerosis.
The aorta, the main artery leading away from the heart, can sometimes develop an aneurysm. Aortic aneurysms usually occur in the abdomen below the kidneys (abdominal aneurysm), but may occur in the chest cavity (thoracic aneurysm).
Aneurysms may also be due to an inherited disease such as Marfan's Syndrome.
Signs and Symptoms
Aneurysms are often diagnosed by X-ray or by imaging techniques such as echocardiography, an MRI or a computed tomography (CT) scan.
If a small aneurysm is found, it may not cause symptoms. Patients are then monitored regularly to see if the area is expanding. Pain in the area of an aneurysm is a common symptom. The larger an aneurysm becomes, the more likely it is to rupture or burst.
At Missouri Baptist, our experienced heart/lung/vascular surgeons offer complete aneurysm repair involving the entire aorta. Aneurysms are repaired by either surgical graft replacement or placement of a stent.
For more information on aneurysm treatment or to schedule an appointment, call 314-996-3627 or contact us online.