Diseases and Conditions

Thoracic aortic aneurysm


A thoracic aortic aneurysm is a weakened area in the major blood vessel that feeds blood to the body (aorta). When the aorta is weak, blood pushing against the vessel wall can cause it to bulge like a balloon (aneurysm).

A thoracic aortic aneurysm is also called a thoracic aneurysm, and aortic dissection can occur because of an aneurysm. A dissection is a tear in the wall of the aorta that can cause life-threatening bleeding or sudden death. Large, fast-growing aneurysms also may rupture, but small and slow-growing aneurysms may never rupture.

Depending on the cause, size and growth rate of your thoracic aortic aneurysm, treatment may vary from watchful waiting to emergency surgery. Ideally, surgery can be planned if necessary.