Providing Care That's Relevant to You

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If your thoracic aortic aneurysm is small and not causing symptoms, your physician may recommend conservative medical therapy, which means that your risk factors and blood pressure are tightly controlled, and you will be monitored every six months to a year for signs of changes in your aneurysm. Your physician may schedule you for CT or MRI scans every six months to a year to watch the aneurysm. CT scans take X-ray pictures of slices of your body. This test can help your physician monitor the size and shape of your aneurysm. This method is usually used for aneurysms that are smaller than about two inches across. If you also have high blood pressure, your physician may prescribe blood pressure medication to lower your overall blood pressure and the pressure on the weakened area of the aneurysm.

However, if your thoracic aortic aneurysm is large or causing symptoms, you need active and prompt treatment to prevent rupture. Your aortic surgeon may recommend actively treating your aneurysm if it is large, grows quickly, or you have certain other types of disease. For example, if you have Marfan's syndrome, you may require active treatment sooner than patients who have small TAAs but do not have Marfan's syndrome. The active treatments for thoracic aortic aneurysm are open surgical aneurysm repair and endovascular stent-graft repair.