Mount Sinai's vascular surgeons have extensive experience in the diagnosis and treatment of aneurismal disease. As experts in minimally invasive procedures and traditional open surgery, our distinguished team offers the most advanced treatments for each patient – providing a personalized treatment plan tailored to his or her condition and lifestyle.
Aneurysms are defined as vessel enlargement to 1.5 times the size of the normal vessel. This enlargement predominately affects arteries. Broadly, aneurysms commonly involve the major vasculature such as the aorta, the extremities, and the circulation to internal organs.
Aortic Aneurysm Signs and Symptoms
Aneurysms can grow slowly and undetectably for many years. Occasionally, patients feel warning pain and seek medical attention, but, in many cases, that's not true. In fact, patients may be at high risk for vascular disease without their doctors realizing it. Men in their 60s with a history of smoking are at highest risk, but women, who also face risk, may not be getting screened as a matter of course.
If you experience any of the following, seek medical assistance:
- Strong pulsing around the navel, which may signal the presence of an abdominal aortic aneurysm
- Concentrated tenderness or pain in the abdomen or back
- Chest pain or vague awareness that something does not feel right in the chest
Aortic Aneurysm Risk Factors
Common risk factors for aortic aneurysm include:
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
- Genetic conditions, such as Marfan syndrome
- Narrowing of the arteries (atherosclerosis)
- History of coronary artery disease
- High cholesterol
- Traumatic injury
- Gender and race, with higher rates in men than women and for Caucasians over other races
- Family history of aortic disease
Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm and Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm
The aorta (the main artery of the body) arises from the heart and travels through the chest into the abdomen. Major branches originate from the aorta and provide blood flow to the heart, brain, arms, legs, and internal organs. Aneurysms of the aorta can involve the abdomen or chest. When in the abdomen, the aneurysm is known as an abdominal aortic aneurysm or AAA. When in the chest, the aneurysm is known as a thoracic aortic aneurysm or TAA. AAA and TAA are potentially lethal conditions. If these aneurysms grow beyond a certain point, there is a risk that the aneurysm will rupture resulting in severe blood loss. Once ruptured, death is very common. Our goal is to treat these aneurysms prior to rupture. Early recognition and treatment can prevent death from AAA and TAA.
Peripheral Aneurysm and Visceral Aneurysm
Aneurysms of the extremities are known as peripheral aneurysms. Peripheral aneurysms can form blood clots that can obstruct major vessels in the extremities. If this occurs, there is a risk of limb loss and amputation. Aneurysms involving the circulation to major abdominal organs are known as visceral aneurysms. Similar to AAA and TAA, visceral aneurysms can burst resulting in severe and life threatening blood loss.
Mount Sinai's Expertise in Aortic Aneurysm Repair
Mount Sinai has been instrumental in the management and treatment of both AAA and TAA. Many techniques used to treat these conditions have been pioneered at Mount Sinai. Specifically, minimally invasive treatments, such as endovascular aneurysm repair (EVAR), have been developed and refined at our institution. Mount Sinai has the most extensive experience with EVAR in the United States with more than 20 years performing these minimally invasive aneurysm treatments. AAA and TAA can also be treated using these minimally invasive (endovascular) procedures.
Utilizing our expertise in endovascular and open surgical techniques, peripheral aneurysms and visceral aneurysms can be treated before limb loss or fatal hemorrhage occurs. Similar to EVAR, minimally invasive treatments in the management of peripheral and visceral aneurysms such as peripheral stent-grafts and embolization procedures have been pioneered at Mount Sinai.
Mount Sinai's surgeons are also equipped to manage complex aneurysms not amendable to minimally invasive treatments. Our surgeons perform complex open surgical aneurysm repair or utilize hybrid techniques were the advantages of open and endovascular surgery are merged to best treat our patients. Mount Sinai can treat standard and complex aneurysms tailored to the specific patient being treated.
Division of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery
Vascular Interventions – Cardiac Cath Lab