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Vascular Services
Aortic Occlusive and Aneurysmal Diseases (Thoracic and Abdominal)

What is Aortic Occlusive Disease?

Aortic Occlusive Disease occurs when arteries become blocked or narrowed due to plaque build-up, injury or anatomical anomaly.

What are the symptoms of Aortic Occlusive Disease?

Symptoms occur in the buttocks and legs or cause erectile dysfunction and can be somewhat similar to those of peripheral artery diseases. When walking or exercising, an individual could experience cramping, fatigue or pain. These symptoms go away when at rest. In severe cases, symptoms are present even while at rest.

What are the treatment options of Aortic Occlusive Disease?

Treatment options include:

Angioplasty
A catheter is fed into the artery and a balloon is inserted to compress plaque against the wall, which widens the artery, usually accompanied by a stent or a stent graft.
Bypass surgery
Surgeons “bypass” the blocked area of the artery by attaching a synthetic artery above and below the blockage, re-routing blood flow.
Endarterectomy
Surgeons make an incision in the artery and remove plaque from the lining of the narrowed or blocked artery.

What is Aneurismal Disease?

An aneurism occurs when an area of an artery’s wall is weak. Blood pushes against the wall, stretching it, which causes a blood-filled ballooning of the wall. Aneurysms can occur anywhere along the arteries but are most common in the abdominal aorta.

Aneurysms are repaired when their size indicates potential problems, such as rupturing. Smaller aneurysms are frequently watched with ultrasound or CT examinations.

If an aneurysm is found in the abdomen, surgeons can repair it with either endovascular procedures, minimally invasive procedures, or with an open surgical fabric graft.

What are the treatment options of Aneurismal Disease?

Treatment of aneurysms in the thoracic aorta (chest area) also depends on the size of the aneurysm, as well as its exact location relative to the main arteries in the chest. Small aneurysms may be monitored as described above, while larger aneurysms are usually repaired. For many patients, repair can be done with minimally invasive techniques, while some may require open surgery based on the anatomy of the aneurysm.