Search the Health Library
Get the facts on diseases, conditions, tests and procedures.
I Want To...
I Want To...
Find Research Faculty
Enter the last name, specialty or keyword for your search below.
School of Medicine
Conditions We Treat: Aortic Aneurysm (Thoracic and Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm)
An aneurysm is a weak spot in the wall of a blood vessel, which can cause the blood vessel to bulge. The most common aneurysms occur in the aorta, the large artery that sends blood from the heart to the rest of the body. A ruptured aneurysm can cause hemorrhaging (severe bleeding), which is often fatal.
Schedule an Appointment
Aortic Aneurysm: What You Need to Know
- Aneurysms may be characterized by a severe, pulsing pain in the chest (thoracic aneurysm) or lower back (abdominal aneurysm).
- Many aneurysms are caused by atherosclerosis, a buildup of fatty plaque in the artery. People with certain connective tissue disorders may also be at risk.
- Treatment is based on an aneurysm’s size and rate of growth. Surgery is often needed to repair the aneurysm and avert a potential rupture.
- New, minimally invasive surgery for aortic aneurysm can shorten recovery times for some patients. For others an open or hybrid procedure may be best.
Smoking is such a strong risk factor for aneurysms that Medicare now covers a one-time screening for abdominal aortic aneurysm for smokers over 65.
Why choose Johns Hopkins Heart and Vascular Institute for treatment of aortic aneurysm?
Our physicians provide a unique, multidisciplinary approach to aortic aneurysm for each patient, from newborns to the elderly.Meet our physicians
Our vascular surgeons are pioneers in minimally invasive aortic aneurysm surgery using the fenestrated abdominal aortic aneurysm graft.Learn more about this revolutionary new treatment.
Our Specialty Centers
The Dana & Albert "Cubby" Broccoli Center for Aortic Diseases is one of the few centers in the world specializing in conditions of the aorta.