ENDOVASCULAR THORACIC AORTIC ANEURYSM REPAIR - TEVAR
Vascular disease, injury (trauma), or genetic (hereditary) defects can all cause the aorta to become weak while continuous blood pressure against the weakened area can result in the ballooning (enlarging and thinning) of the aortic artery. These sections of the aortic wall may rupture if not treated which can cause life-threatening internal bleeding.
PATIENT RISK FACTORS
Patients over the age of 60, are male, have smoked, have high blood pressure, have plaque build-up in arteries, have a family member with a history of aortic aneurysms or have certain diseases that may weaken the aortic wall are at risk.
A screening CT scan is recommended for patients who meet criteria.
SYMPTOMS AND DIAGNOSIS
Many patients do not experience any symptoms of an aneurysm. For those with symptoms, the most common are pain in the chest, back area, shoulders neck and abdomen. Some aneurysms are found during a routine medical exam, most are found during imaging tests such as CT, Cat scan, MRI or a cardiac catheterization procedure.
The size and location of the aneurysm will determine treatment. Smaller aneurysms will be checked periodically for monitoring. Larger or rapidly growing (expanding) aneurysms pose more risk of bursting (rupture) and may require surgical treatment.
Options for surgical treatment include open surgical repair or endovascular repair. Endovascular repair is a newer less invasive approach that involves placing an endovascular stent graft inside the damaged aorta making a new path for blood flow. The graft is deployed using a catheter that is placed in the groin versus a large incision in the chest or side as the standard open approach utilizes.