Aortic aneurysm

An aortic aneurysm is an abnormal bulge that occurs in the wall of the major blood vessel (aorta) that carries blood from the heart to the body. When it excessively increases in size, due to high blood pressure, it can burst (aortic rupture or dissection), which is a life-threatening condition, sometimes even causing sudden death. Often an enlargement of the aorta does not give any symptom, that’s the reason why it might not be discovered for years. Normally it is identified on a CT scan. This condition can be caused by high blood pressure, diseases of the blood vessels (like infections, inflammations or bicuspid aortic valve), connective tissue diseases (like Marfan syndrome) or trauma.

When the size of the aorta reaches a certain dimension (normally between 4.5 and 5.5 cm, depending on several factors including the patient’s size, other conditions like aortic valve disease, bicuspid aortic valve…), a surgical indication is required to replace the enlarged part of the aorta. Even if the person still has no symptoms it is important to consider an operation to prevent the risk to sudden aortic rupture or sudden death. The surgical operation is normally performed opening the breast bone and involves to cut and excise the enlarged part of the aorta with a vascular graft (synthetic pipe), sometimes replacing the aortic valve as well when this is diseased. Often strategies to protect the brain are very important to reduce the risk of stroke. Mr Alberto Albanese routinely performs aortic root and ascending aorta replacement operations with excellent results. He also has a very good experience in performing these procedures during emergency scenarios, like aortic dissections and aortic rupture, which are life threatening conditions, with very good outcomes and many lives saved.

Aortic Aneurysm repair dr Alberto Albanese Consultant Cardiac Surgeon International Heart Clinic