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Cardiac Surgery

Thoracic Aortic Graft

A thoracic aortic aneurysm occurs when the aorta, a larger artery shaped like a cane that feeds blood to the body, has a weakened area near the heart. The weakened area balloons our, causing blood that should flow through the artery to pool and become stuck in the ballooned area.  Left untreated, the aneurysm can rupture, or pop, causing death. Traditional surgery involving open the chest is the main treatment, especially if the aneurysm has grown large or is causing symptoms. But a less invasive approach is also available. 

Boston Medical Center's cardiac vascular surgeons specialize in the minimally invasive treatment of thoracic aortic aneurysms.  To repair the aneurysm, a thoracic aortic graft is used.  The graft is inserted through a small incision in the groin area and fed up to the aneurysm location. This graft form a tight seal with the healthy artery above and below the aneurysm.  This restores normal blood flow through the artery and eventually the aneurysm shrinks. Advantages to treatment with a graft include:

  • Minimal scarring at that site of insertion;
  • Fewer complications;
  • Shorter stay in the intensive care unit;
  • Shorter hospital stay; 
  • Quicker recovery time; and
  • Faster return to normal activities.