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Aortic Surgery

Aortic Aneurysm Surgery

An aortic aneurysm is a bulge that occurs in the aorta, the major artery that carries blood away from the heart. This condition requires immediate attention as it can result in an aortic dissection or an aortic tear, both of which can be fatal.

The symptoms of an aortic aneurysm can sometimes include chest or back pain, shortness of breath, coughing, and difficulty swallowing. The condition is often diagnosed with an ultrasound or CT scan, and treatment can consist of medications and lifestyle changes. For a more severe case, our cardiothoracic surgeons will use a tube or a graft to replace the weakened section of the aorta.

Aortic Dissection Surgery

An aortic dissection is a life-threatening condition that occurs when the inner layer of the aorta tears and blood leaks through. If the outer layer of the aorta also tears, the condition is often fatal. Early detection and diagnosis greatly increase the chance of survival.

Symptoms of aortic dissection are sudden and severe pain in the chest or back, shortness of breath, and weakness on one side of the body. Surgery to fix an aortic dissection consists of replacing the damaged aorta with a synthetic tube or graft and also repairing or replacing the valve if it has been affected.

Ventricular Aneurysm Surgery

A ventricular aneurysm refers to a bulge in the wall of one of the ventricles (the two large chambers of the heart) that may occur after a heart attack. An aneurysm can block the blood flowing out of the heart, interrupting the supply of oxygen to the body. If untreated, a ventricular aneurysm can be fatal.

Symptoms often include shortness of breath, pain in the chest, and heart palpitations, and a physical exam coupled with imaging tests are commonly used to diagnose a ventricular aneurysm. If surgery is required, the cardiothoracic surgeons are UConn Health are highly trained in ventricular aneurysm repair, and will remove the compromised area of the ventricular wall and sew the ventricle back together, thus reducing the risk for heart failure.