The aorta is the largest artery in the body. Aortic valve abnormalities can be congenital or the aorta can become diseased over time. The aorta provides oxygen-rich blood to the entire body; if it is diseased, the entire body is at risk. If the condition is not treated, the aorta can burst or tear which can be fatal. In some patients, the aorta may become inflated at single or multiple points due to age. This widening of the aorta is commonly known as an aneurysm. Aneurysms are more common in smokers and persons with atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries).
Aortic Surgery is a critical procedure because the aneurysms may continue to increase in size, eventually leading to rupture. In other cases, pieces of the clots within the aneurysm can break off and block a smaller blood vessel. This restricts blood supply to the organ which can result in pain or even tissue loss.
Aortic surgery is considered to be major surgery. As such, a series of tests must be done before the procedure. These tests include:
Scans to check the blood flow in major blood vessels
Assessment of circulation in the legs
Heart, lung, kidney and liver function
Your doctor will advise on the treatment to be taken based on your unique circumstance.