What is the South Jersey Aortic Program?
This is a multidisciplinary integrated program at Deborah Heart and Lung Center specializing in the treatment of thoracic and abdominal aortic diseases. The comprehensive program draws from the expertise of vascular/ endovascular surgeons, cardiothoracic surgeons, as well as cardiac anesthesiologists, to determine the most favorable way to treat these complex diseases.
What is an aneurysm?
is a weakening in the wall of the artery which leads to an abnormal bulge (balloon) in the vessel. The most common location is the abdominal aorta, which is the main blood vessel in the abdomen behind where the belly button is located. Aneurysms can also be found in the thoracic aorta (main blood vessel in the chest) as well as the peripheral arteries (arteries in the legs and arms).
Who should be checked for aneurysms?
Patients who are 65 years or older, who have 1) a family history of aneurysms or 2) who have smoked at any point in their lives, should be screened for aneurysms. Up to 4% of these patients will have an aneurysm.
Why do aneurysms need to be checked?
Aneurysms are silent and will rarely cause symptoms. As a result, most people who have an aneurysm will not know about it. An aneurysm may rupture unexpectedly as the first presenting sign and the chance of surviving a ruptured aneurysm--even with an operative repair--is low.
How do I get screened for aneurysms?
Patients who qualify for screening based on risk factors are tested using a non-invasive abdominal ultrasound study. Radiation and dye are not used for the study and this is a painless process.
What do I do if an aneurysm is detected?
If an aneurysm is detected, your vascular surgeon will determine if the aneurysm’s size would indicate that it needs to be repaired or whether it just needs to be monitored.
How is an aneurysm repaired?
At Deborah Heart and Lung Center, we specialize in the minimally-invasive treatment of aortic aneurysms, including those of the chest and abdomen. We use the latest state-of-the-art technology in stenting to repair these aneurysms without major surgery.
We also specialize in the treatment of complex aneurysms, with traditional open vascular surgery techniques for patients that do not qualify for stent graft repair of the aneurysm or for those that do not choose to have the stent graft repair.