Complex aortic disease treatments

When an aortic aneurysm is small, lifestyle changes and monitoring of the aneurysm may be the recommended course of action. However, if the aneurysm continues to grow, your physician may recommend surgical intervention.

However, surgical intervention becomes necessary for many patients with aortic disease. Penn surgical teams have more experience with these technically demanding procedures and the complex circulatory issues that surround them than any other center in the area. In fact, we are nationally known for successfully performing complex interventions on very high risk patients.

A thoracic aortic aneurysm happens when a weakened section of the aorta begins to bulge outward.  When an aneurysm is small, lifestyle changes and monitoring of the aneurysm may be the recommended course of action. However, if the aneurysm continues to grow, your physician may recommend surgical intervention.

Here at Penn, many thoracic aortic aneurysms are treated using minimally invasive techniques, which mean lower risks and a quicker recovery time for you.

Penn Heart & Vascular physicians offer the following treatment options for complex aortic diseases:

  • Endovascular stent grafts: Thoracic stent grafts provide an alternative to open surgery. We offer a wide array of FDA-approved and investigational thoracic and abdominal aortic stent grafts.
  • Open repair of aneurysms: Larger and more difficult thoracic and abdominal aortic aneurysms sometimes require open surgery.
  • "Watchful waiting": If you have a small aortic aneurysm, you may not require immediate treatment because this type rarely ruptures. Instead, we may recommend “watchful waiting” and regular ultrasound exams to check for changes. 

Other advanced procedures for complex aortic disease include:

  • Valve-sparing aortic root replacement
  • Complex arch and hybrid aortic arch reconstruction
  • Complex aortic root reconstruction of all types
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