Can an elder safely live with weak blood vessels without having an aneurysm?

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Q: My dad, 60, has a weak blood vessel behind the heart - an aneurysm waiting to happen. They said it was non-operable. Could this be something he could live with for years?

A: Aneurysms of the descending aorta (in the chest) can rupture if they are greater than 5 cm in diameter especially if they are saccular (look like a balloon).

Repair of these aneurysms has changed dramatically with the advent of endoluminal stent grafting (placing the graft from inside of the vessel).

I would suggest he seek advice from a surgeon experienced in this technique.


Dr. Allen Raczkowski practices Cardiothoracic Surgery and General Surgery at Banner Heart Hospital.

Dr. Allen Raczkowski

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Dr. Raczkowski practices Cardiothoracic Surgery and General Surgery at Banner Heart Hospital. Renowned as the world's leading robotic cardiac surgeon, he uses a special technology, the Da Vinci robot, which enables him to perform delicate procedures such as valve repairs and coronary artery surgery.

Banner Health

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