Diseases of the aorta (the largest artery in the body supplying blood from the heart to the rest of the body) are now recognised to be commoner in people of Asian descent than previously thought. They are more frequent in men and the consequences of untreated aortic disease can be catastrophic particularly when this large artery ruptures.
The aorta can be affected both in the chest and in the abdomen by two conditions – aortic aneurysms in which the aorta swells or balloons out due to a weakness in its wall or an aortic dissection in which the inside lining of the aorta splits leading to a rupture or a loss of blood supply to an important organ. In addition, blockages in the aorta and the arteries supplying the abdominal organs from cholesterol and calcium can also occur as in arterial disease affecting the limbs. A significant genetic link is suspected particularly in sons of fathers who may have had aneurysms. Our aortic aneurysm screening programme allows these conditions to be detected early.
Our vascular surgery service offers both endovascular (keyhole) repair with stents as well as traditional open surgical repair (for patients unsuitable for endovascular surgery) for all types of aortic disease. In addition, the support of our specialist cardiologists to optimise the co-existing problems of heart disease and blood pressure is crucial to ensuring the best outcomes for patients undergoing such major surgery.
If you or a member of your family have had an aortic aneurysm, or if you suffer from hypertension, are a smoker or you would like a vascular health or aortic aneurysm screen, contact us or visit the relevant pages of this website for more information.