Jefferson University Hospitals

Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm

There are several different ways to treat an aneurysm depending upon your specific condition: through behavior modification, medication or surgery. Whatever treatment you require, Jefferson physicians provide the best comprehensive medical and surgical solutions for aneurysms.

Jefferson vascular surgeons are leaders in the diagnosis and treatment of all types of aneurysms, including the most complex aneurysms of the aorta. Using advanced minimally invasive surgical techniques, our physicians are able to treat you with safer alternatives to major, open surgery, which can speed recovery and reduce hospital stays.

Aortic Aneurysm Risk Factors

  • Family History of aneurysm or dissection
  • Genetic disorders such as Marfan syndrome and Ehler’s Danlos syndrome
  • Hypertension
  • Smoking
  • Male gender (particularly for AAA)
  • Age > 60

Factors associated with increased risk for dissection or rupture

  • Large size (>5.5 cm)
  • Rapid aneurysmal growth (> 1 cm/year)
  • Connective tissue disorder
  • Uncontrolled hypertension
  • Symptoms of severe, acute chest, back, or abdominal pain


  • Most aneurysms are asymptomatic (silent killer)
  • Rapid expansion may cause dysphagia, hoarseness, wheezing and/or cough
  • Acute Type A aortic dissection causes acute, severe chest pain often radiating to the back
  • Acute Type B aortic dissection causes severe back or abdominal pain

Management for small aneurysms

  • Blood pressure control
  • Smoking cessation
  • Weight lifting restrictions
  • Routine imaging with either CT scan or MRI every 6 months- 1 year to monitor growth

The Jefferson Aortic Center brings together the expertise of nearly a dozen medical and surgical disciplines for diagnosis and treatment of thoracic aortic aneurysms (TAA). Our reputation for treating the most complex cases attracts referrals and emergency transfers from other hospitals throughout the Northeast.

In emergency situations, patients with potentially life-threatening thoracic aortic aneurysms are promptly evaluated using sophisticated imaging techniques.

Make an Appointment

To schedule an appointment, call 1-800-JEFF-NOW (1-800-533-3669) or request an appointment online.