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​​​​​​For patients presenting with acute aortic dissections and other thoracic aortic emergencies, call our Patient Transfer Center at 214.820.6444 from anywhere across the DFW Metr​oplex​ and beyond.

Baylor Scott & White Health Heart and Vascular Services Thoracic Aortic ProgramThe team of surgeons on our medical staff, along with our nursing staff will go into immediate action to transport the patient to either of our two Baylor Scott & White Health facilities that have the expertise and advanced technology to get the patient the surgical intervention needed:

  • The Heart Hospital Baylor Plano
  • Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas

Fast and efficient action and high-level, critical medical expertise are paramount for these acute aortic cases:

  • Acute Type A and B Dissections
  • Thoracic Aortic Aneurysms
  • Thorac​oabdominal​ Aneurysms​

Type​s of Aneurysms

Aortic Aneurysms​

The two types of aortic aneurysm are abdominal aortic aneurysm and thoracic aortic aneurysm. Some people have both types.

Illustration of Aortic Aneurysms

Figure A shows a normal aorta. Figure B shows a thoracic aortic aneurysm, which is located behind the heart. Figure C shows an abdominal aortic aneurysm, which is located below the arteries that supply blood to the kidneys.

Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms

An aneurysm that occurs in the abdominal portion of the aorta is called an abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA). Most aortic aneurysms are AAAs.

These aneurysms are found more often now than in the past because of computed tomography scans, or CT scans, done for other medical problems.

Small AAAs rarely rupture. However, AAAs can grow very large without causing symptoms. Routine checkups and treatment for an AAA can help prevent growth and rupture.

Thoracic Aortic Aneurysms

An aneurysm that occurs in the chest portion of the aorta (above the diaphragm, a muscle that helps you breathe) is called a thoracic aortic aneurysm (TAA).

TAAs don't always cause symptoms, even when they're large. Only half of all people who have TAAs notice any symptoms. TAAs are found more often now than in the past because of chest CT scans done for other medical problems.

With a common type of TAA, the walls of the aorta weaken and a section close to the heart enlarges. As a result, the valve between the heart and the aorta can't close properly. This allows blood to leak back into the heart.

A less common​ type of TAA can develop in the upper back, away from the heart. A TAA in this location may result from an injury to the chest, such as from a car crash.

Source: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; National Institutes of Health; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.​

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