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Question:

Based on my family history, when should I consider aortic surgery?

My maternal grandfather, my mother, and my older brother have all had aortic aneurysms. My brother has had two dissections in his aortic root, at 4.2cm. I have now found that my aortic root is 4.2cm. Based on my family history, when should surgery be considered? 

submitted by Susan from Houston on 11/13/2012

Answer:

by Texas Heart Institute cardiovascular surgeon, Joseph S. Coselli, MD    

Joseph S. Coselli, MDAortic aneurysm and aortic dissections clearly have a genetic basis in many, many, many cases.  You are absolutely correct that a family history of dissection of an abnormally dilated root at a small size increases the risk of other members of the family who have similar sized aortic roots.  Consequently, we have recommended a rather aggressive approach to such cases and, by and large, all the factors being equal, generally recommend surgery.          

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Updated November 2012
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