Our heart and vascular experts have the diagnostic tools to catch aortic disease early. And we're skilled at the advanced treatments for aortic disease, keeping your heart in good hands.
What Is Aortic Disease?
Aortic disease is a serious cardiovascular (heart and blood vessel) disease. It occurs when your aorta becomes weak or injured and a balloon-like bulge called an aneurysm"forms.
Your aorta is the main artery that carries blood from your heart to all the organs in your body. If an aortic aneurysm grows, it can tear or burst, which may threaten your life.
Most often, aortic aneurysms form in the section of the aortic artery that runs through your abdomen. This type is called an abdominal aortic aneurysm.
You can also have an aneurysm in the aortic artery that runs through your chest, which is called a thoracic aortic aneurysm.
Our heart and vascular experts have the diagnostic tools to catch aortic disease early. We also have advanced treatments for aortic disease — many of which are minimally invasive.
The Region's Leading Heart and Vascular Care
Luminis Health offers award-winning cardiac care. Our heart specialists use advanced technology to diagnose and manage problems like heart valve disease to keep your heart healthy. You have access to:
The latest technology for minimally invasive procedures. With advanced imaging, we can detect aortic disease early. And we can often treat it with minimally invasive procedures. That means small incisions, less pain and a quicker recovery for you.
Nationally recognized care. The American College of Cardiology recognizes Luminis Health for our commitment to hospital care for heart patients. We appear on the 2022 U.S. News & World Report list of “Best Hospitals."
Heart treatments recognized by the American Heart Association. The American Heart Association recognizes us as one of only 25% of hospitals in the U.S. qualified to perform emergency cardiac catheterization.
A dedicated heart center. Our Zazulia Heart and Vascular Center is an inpatient unit for people with heart conditions. It features cardiac catheterization labs, a critical care unit and a cardiac rehabilitation center.
Aortic Disease Diagnosis and Treatments
Often aortic disease doesn't cause symptoms unless an aneurysm grows. But your doctor can check for aortic disease. Early detection means early treatment, which can save your life.
Aortic disease screening and tests
As with other heart and vascular diseases, screening starts with regular visits to your primary care doctor. During your physical exam, your doctor:
Presses on your belly to see if they can feel an abdominal aortic aneurysm.
Checks your pulse in your arms and legs to see if it feels weak.
Listens to your heart for any blood flow problems.
Checks your skin, muscles and bones for signs of genetic conditions such as Marfan or Ehlers-Danlos syndromes or conditions that increase your risk of aortic disease.
Certain imaging tests allow for a closer look at your aorta, including:
Your doctor views a picture of your aorta to see if there's any sign of disease or damage.
Aortic disease treatments
When detected early, our vascular specialists can treat aortic disease with medicines and surgery. We consider the size, shape and location of your aneurysm, as well as the treatment risks. And, of course, we discuss everything with you.
Medical treatments for aortic disease
To manage aortic disease so it doesn't worsen, your doctor might prescribe:
Blood pressure–lowering medicines.
Surgical treatments for aortic disease
If you have a large aneurysm or one that is growing quickly, your doctor might recommend surgery. We specialize in:
This is a minimally invasive surgery, which means smaller incisions, less pain and faster recovery for you. You'll be given medicine to make you sleepy during the surgery and so that you won't feel any discomfort.
With this procedure, your surgeon makes a small cut in your groin. Then, we guide a stent graft (a tube covered with fabric) through your blood vessels, up to the aorta. The stent graft attaches to your aortic walls and strengthens the weak spot in your aortic artery.
This surgery requires a larger cut in your abdomen or chest, depending on the aneurysm's location. You're asleep during this procedure.
Your surgeon locates the aneurysm, removes it and sews a graft in its place. The graft is a tube made of leak-proof polyester. Recovery time for open surgical repair is about a month.
Preventive Care: Catching Aortic Disease Early
Aortic aneurysms are serious, so prevention is key. You can reduce your risk of developing one by taking care of your overall health and blood vessels.
To reduce your risk of aortic disease, Luminis Health heart and vascular specialists recommend you:
Have a yearly physical with your primary care doctor to look for signs or symptoms.
Follow a heart-healthy lifestyle by choosing healthy foods, getting plenty of exercise and reducing stress.
Don't smoke — or quit if you do smoke.
Maintain a healthy weight.
Talk to your doctor if you have a family history of heart disease, aortic disease or other types of aneurysms. Your doctor may recommend earlier screening.