Subclavian Aneurysm Treatment

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Issues with breathing or swallowing? Hoarse throat? Chest pain or feeling a pulsing mass around your collarboane? These could be signs of a subclavian aneurysm. That happens when weakness in the wall of your subclavian artery, found below your collarbone, caues the artery to bulge out (an aneurysm). Subclavian aneurysms can also casue you to feel numbness or fatigue in your arm and hand.

Aneurysms can grow like a balloon as blood pressure pushes the bulge out. Blood clots from the aneurysm can cause a stroke or problems in your fingers, hand, or arm. If the aneurysm leaks or breaks your artery open (called rupturing), it can cause life-threatening bleeding.

Treating Subclavian Aneurysms at UVA Health 

We'll check you out for a subclavian aneurysm using these tests:

  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan
  • Computed tomography (CT) scan
  • Ultrasound
  • Angiography (a kind of X-ray that can show your blood vessels)

If you have a subclavian aneurysm, surgery is the most common treatment option. We'll repair your aneurysm using either a vein from elsewhere in your body (graft) or with a synthetic graft.

How Did I Get a Subclavian Aneurysm?

You may be more likely to get a subclavian aneurysm if you:

  • Have atherosclerosis (plaque build-up inside your arteries) or a family history of it
  • Have had an injury in that area
  • Have thoracic outlet syndrome 
  • Have a connective tissue disorder (like Marfan syndrome)
  • Have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or diabetes
  • Use tobacco
  • Have an extra rib
  • Have issues with the ligaments connecting your spine and ribs