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Aortic Aneurysms

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Your aorta is a large artery that carries the blood from your heart to the rest of your body. When part of the wall of the aorta weakens and bulges outward, it has developed an aortic aneurysm.

Aortic aneurysms increase your risk for aortic dissection, a life-threatening condition in which the aorta bursts, causing heavy internal bleeding. If you have a large aortic aneurysm, early treatment is vital.

Risk Factors

You may be at a higher risk for an aortic aneurysm if you are a man over age 65 who has a family history of the condition or who has smoked for many years. If you are at high risk, your physician may recommend a screening for aortic aneurysm. A simple computed tomography (CT) scan can identify the condition early.

Symptoms

Aortic aneurysms grow slowly. You may not experience any symptoms of an aneurysm. Pain in your back or chest may mean that the aneurysm is close to rupturing, causing aortic dissection.

At the University of Miami Health System, experienced vascular surgeons offer minimally invasive repairs of aortic aneurysms using the latest technology. Early treatment and repair could potentially save your life.


Treatments

Smoking Cessation
If you have a small aneurysm, stopping smoking may slow its growth.

Endovascular Aneurysm Repair
During a minimally invasive endovascular aneurysm repair, our expert vascular surgeons create a small incision in your groin. They then place a thin tube (catheter) through the incision and guide a specialized stent graft through the catheter and place it inside the aneurysm. The graft opens up and attaches with tiny metal hooks to the walls of your aorta. The graft helps reduce pressure on the weakened wall of your aorta, lowering your risk for aortic dissection. The minimally invasive procedure has fewer risks than an open procedure, including lowered risk for bleeding and scarring as well as a faster recovery.

Monitoring
Your doctor may recommend regular imaging tests to see if the aneurysm grows. If it remains small, you may not need any other treatment.

Open Aortic Aneurysm Repair
For this procedure, your surgeon makes a large incision in your abdomen in order to reach the aorta. They can then place a stent graft inside the aneurysm. If you do not qualify for minimally invasive repair, your doctor may recommend the open procedure. Since most procedures are done minimally invasive and the open procedure requires a lot of skills from the surgeon, we have vast knowledge in this area from years of experience, which should be taken into account when finding a surgeon that fits your needs.


Tests

Angiogram
An angiogram is a scan using contrast injected into an arm vein. This imaging study shows how and where your blood flows.

Medical History
Based on your medical history, family history, and smoking history, your doctor may recommend further testing or screening for an aortic aneurysm. 

Computed Tomography
Computed tomography (CT) scans take multiple X-rays of your body in order to form a 3-D picture. Your doctor can identify an aortic aneurysm on these images.


Why Choose UHealth?

Advanced, hard-to-find procedures. Our doctors are committed to caring for every patient. That’s why they offer the latest treatments, including limb salvage, endovascular grafting and thoracic outlet decompression, to improve your blood flow.

All the care you need, from one physician. Our vascular surgeons perform a wide range of procedures so you can have the same physician for any vascular care you need as your condition changes. Whether you need a stent replaced or a vein grafted, you can always turn to the doctor you trust.

Experienced doctors, reliable results. UHealth vascular surgeons perform hundreds of stent placements, angiograms and aneurysm repairs  every year. You can rely on their experience to help you avoid complications and have a positive outcome.

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