Worrying about your aneurysm can take a toll. You're wondering if it's growing. What if you need surgery? If it bursts, will you be able to get help?
At UVA Health, we can answer your questions about aneurysm treatment. And we can offer treatments that don't need large cuts on your body or long recovery times.
Aortic Aneurysm Treatment Experts
Our heart care teams deliver on the promise of advanced medicine. We make sure you get the thorough attention you deserve. That means scheduling visits so that you can see as many specialists as you can in one day. Using our high-tech scanning and imaging equipment to take pictures of your heart, arteries, and veins, our team can make a lifestyle and treatment plan that's right for you.
In fact, Becker’s Hospital Review named UVA Health’s Heart & Vascular Center to its 2023 list of 100 hospitals and health systems with great heart programs.
See other awards and recognition for our heart care.
Getting Aortic Aneurysm Treatment
If you need to treat your aortic aneurysm, you and your doctor will talk about what’s best. You have a few choices:
- Watching it closely: In the early stages of an aneurysm, you probably don't have any symptoms. We’ll check the size of your aneurysm regularly. If it’s not getting bigger or changing, you may not need any treatment.
- Changes to lifestyle: Stopping smoking, controlling diabetes, and eating a healthy diet may keep an aneurysm from growing.
- Taking medicine: Medicine that lowers high blood pressure and high cholesterol can help with aneurysms.
- Procedures or surgery: Whether you need a procedure or surgery depends on the size of your aneurysm or if it’s changing. In some cases, you might need surgery using a large cut in your chest or stomach (called open surgery).
Stent-Graft Surgery: Results With Less Strain
When possible, we use a technique that causes less strain on your body: a stent-graft.
Norm's Burst Aortic Aneurysm
"People don't realize how big that feels. Just being alive," says Norm. UVA Health surgeons got Norm through a complex and scary surgery, even after he'd been turned away elsewhere. Years after aortic aneurysm surgery saved his life, he cherishes the time he now has to spend with family.
3D Imaging for Aneurysms
We use advanced tech to get 3D images of your aneurysms. These pictures help us decide on the right treatment plan for you.
Genetic Counseling For You & Your Family
We also aim to prevent aneurysms from happening in the first place. Some heart and vascular conditions run in the family. That might mean there is something in your genes that causes it. Your genes are like instructions for creating and running your body. You get them from your parents.
Our genetic counselors can check you and your family members to see if you’re at risk of getting aneurysms. They can also check if you have other health problems that can cause aneurysms.
Open Aortic Aneurysm Repair
Open surgery for aortic aneurysm repair is a tried-and-true treatment option. But it does come with some risks. W. Darrin Clouse, MD, explains how UVA Health’s Aortic Center is one of the best places to get open aortic aneurysm surgery.
Aortic aneurysm can happen anywhere along your aorta. They have different names depending on where they show up:
If they happen in your chest (called thoracic aortic aneurysms):
- Aortic root aneurysm (where your aorta starts at the top part of your heart )
- Ascending thoracic aortic aneurysm (the part leading up from your heart)
- Aortic arch aneurysm (where the aorta curves to start going down)
- Descending thoracic aortic aneurysm (in your chest leading down to your belly)
If they happen in your belly (called abdominal aortic aneurysms):
- Thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysms (where your chest and belly meet)
- Abdominal aortic aneurysms (in your belly)
- Suprarenal aortic aneurysms (around your kidneys)