Filed under: Heart & Vascular
A thoracic aortic aneurysm is a weakened and bulging area in the upper part of the aorta, the major blood vessel that feeds blood to the body. The aorta, about the thickness of a garden hose, runs from your heart through the center of your chest and abdomen. Because the aorta is the body's main supplier of blood, a ruptured thoracic aortic aneurysm can cause life-threatening bleeding. Although you may never have symptoms, finding out you have a thoracic aortic aneurysm can be frightening.
Most small and slow-growing thoracic aortic aneurysms don't rupture, but large, fast-growing aneurysms may. Depending on the size and rate at which the thoracic aortic aneurysm is growing, treatment may vary from watchful waiting to emergency surgery. Once a thoracic aortic aneurysm is found, doctors will closely monitor it so that surgery can be planned if it's necessary. Emergency surgery for a ruptured thoracic aortic aneurysm can be risky.
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