The aorta is like a tree’s trunk. It is the central artery providing blood carrying oxygen and nutrients to the body.
If the aorta becomes enlarged (an aneurysm) or when the artery wall weakens or tears (a dissection), that part of the aorta must be replaced. Conditions leading to aortic aneurysm and aortic dissection include:
- Atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries);
- Hypertension (high blood pressure);
- Genetic conditions (such as Marfan’s Syndrome);
- Connective tissue disorders (such as Ehler-Danlos disorder, polychondritis, scleroderma, osteogenesis imperfecta, polycystic kidney disease, and Turner’s Syndrome) and;
- Traumatic injury (i.e. car accident).
Ascending aorta, aortic arch, descending aorta, thoraco-abdominal repairs and thoracic aorta endovascular stent graft procedures are all performed to treat both aortic aneurysm and dissections.