What is an aortic aneurysm?
An aortic aneurysm, also known as an enlarged aorta, is an abnormal dilation of the wall of the aorta, that is 50% greater than its normal size.
What are the risks of an aortic aneurysm?
The most feared complications related to aortic aneurysms include aorta dissection and/or rupture of the aorta. These are life-threatening conditions and may even lead to sudden death. In general, the larger the aneurysm, the greater the risk of dissection and rupture.
What is the Aortic Aneurysm Surveillance Program?
Aortic Aneurysm Surveillance Program guides patient and their primary physicians regarding the management of known aortic aneurysms including the timing and type of imaging needed.
Who can benefit from this program?
While some people with aortic aneurysms need treatment immediately when an aortic aneurysm is detected, more frequently patients may not require treatment for months or even years. Those who do not require immediate treatment will need regular surveillance, including imaging of the aorta and follow-up with an aortic specialist.
Why do I need repeat imaging?
Aortic aneurysms grow over time. As the size of the aneurysm grows, the risk of aortic catastrophe--including dissection, rupture, and death related to the aneurysm--increases. Therefore to assess growth and the need for treatment before an aortic catastrophe occurs, repeat imaging is recommended for all patients with aortic aneurysms.
How frequently do I need aortic imaging ?
The type and frequency of imaging depends a number of factors including:
Dr. Russo and his team will provide recommendations based on objective evidence regarding expected future growth and risks.
How do I prepare for my appointment?
Prior to your appointment, it is important that you provide us with your most recent medical information. We will review all of the materials in advance to ensure that your visit will occur without unnecessary delays. If you have had an echocardiogram, CT scan, MRI, and/or a cardiac catheterization, please provide us with a copy of the report as well as the actual images--which is usually provided a CD.