An aneurysm of the aorta -- your body's largest blood vessel -- is a serious condition.
The surgeons at the Phoebe Heart Center have detected and repaired this problem for thousands of Southwest Georgia patients.
Your aorta is the main artery leading away from your heart, carrying blood to all parts of your body. Sometimes a section of the aorta can develop a weakness, causing a bulge in the wall of the aorta (something like a bubble in the side of a defective inner tube). This bulge is called an aneurysm, and it can be a serious condition.
Left untreated, an aortic aneurysm can eventually grow and burst, and when this happens, it can be -- and frequently is -- fatal.
But today's surgery has many ways of treating aortic aneurysms, and the surgeons at the Phoebe Heart Center are the region's most experienced at these procedures.
For patients found to have an aneurysm of the aorta that is expanding rapidly, or is already very large or painful, surgery is generally advised.
There are two main types of surgery for aortic aneurysm.
Open Abdominal or Chest Surgery: In this procedure, the damaged section of the aorta is removed and a synthetic tube (or graft) is sewn into place.
Endovascular Surgery: Surgeons at Phoebe can insert a tube called a stent graft into some areas of the aorta to reinforce the weakened area without major surgery. The reinforcing graft is inserted through a small incision in the groin area and threaded upstream through the artery into place at the end of a long catheter.
The choice of type of surgery used to address a specific patient's situation depends on the location of the aneurysm and the patient's condition.
While most aortic aneurysms occur in the section of the aorta running through your abdomen, an aneursym of the first (upper) part of the aorta as it leaves the heart presents a unique set of circumstances. Repair of these aneurysms involves use of the heart-lung machine and may require repair or replacement of the aortic valves.
The cardiovascular surgeons at the Phoebe Heart Center were the first in South Georgia to perform this procedure and are the region's most experienced by far at this complex surgery.
For more information about Phoebe Heart and Vascular Center or to schedule an appointment to meet with one of our cardiologists, please call (229) 312-4438.