Thoracoabdominal Aneurysms | Endovascular Complex Repair | MedStar Health

Minimally invasive surgery to treat aneurysms in the chest and abdomen

A thoracoabdominal aneurysm is a bulge in the wall of the aorta, the body’s largest artery. These aneurysms stretch across the belly and chest and can be difficult to treat.

Our Complex Aortic Center is one of the few programs in the mid-Atlantic region with the expertise needed to treat these challenging cases. We can use endovascular complex repair, a minimally invasive treatment that involves smaller incisions, less pain, and faster recovery than traditional open surgery.

What to expect from this procedure

On the day of the procedure, you’ll either receive general anesthesia or local anesthesia and a sedative. The surgeon will make a small puncture in either your arm or groin and will insert a guide wire and a thin, flexible tube called a catheter through these incisions and into an artery. Using X-ray images for guidance, the surgeon will thread the wire and catheter into the aorta and to the aneurysm.

The catheter will contain a device called an aortic stent-graft. Once the catheter is in place, your surgeon will pull the catheter and guide the wire back, leaving the stent-graft behind. The stent-graft will expand like a spring inside the aorta, repairing the aneurysm. Blood will flow more easily through the aorta and away from the aneurysm, which will keep it from getting bigger.

After the procedure, you’ll stay with us in the hospital for a few days. You’ll need to come back for checkups and imaging scans over time to make sure your stent-graft is in place and working properly.

Conditions

Aortic Ulcers

An aortic ulcer can penetrate the wall of the aorta, decreasing blood flow and allowing blood to leak and cause internal bleeding.

Thoracoabdominal Aortic Aneursym

This is a type of aortic aneurysm, or bulge, in the wall of the body’s largest artery, which extends through both the abdomen and chest.

Tests

Abdominal Duplex Ultrasound

Abdominal duplex ultrasound is a combination of a traditional and Doppler ultrasound that assesses the blood vessels in your abdomen for blockages or aneurysms.

Computerized Tomography (CT) Scan

The cardiac computed tomography scan, or cardiac CT, uses X-rays to create three-dimensional images of your heart and blood vessels.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

Magnetic resonance imaging, better known as cardiac MRI, is a combination of radio waves, magnets, and computer technology used to create images of your heart and blood vessels.

Our locations

Distance from Change locationEnter your location

MedStar Union Memorial Hospital

201 E. University Pkwy.
Baltimore, MD 21218

MedStar Washington Hospital Center

110 Irving St. NW
Washington, DC 20010

Read our Cardiovascular Performance & Outcomes Booklet

Ask MHVI

Have questions for our heart and vascular program? Email us at AskMHVI@medstar.net.