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Aneurysms

The vascular specialists at UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute offer the latest open and minimally invasive treatment options for aortic and peripheral aneurysms. Our team of vascular interventional cardiologists and vascular surgeons offer you the full range of vascular care.

Why choose UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute for aortic and peripheral aneurysm treatment?

Our experts use the latest minimally invasive aortic and peripheral aneurysm repair techniques whenever possible, which are less painful, allow for a quicker recovery, and have a lower risk of complications when compared to traditional open surgery. We offer a full range of tests and treatments for aortic and peripheral aneurysms, including:

Diagnostic Tests for Aneurysms

  • Ultrasound. An ultrasound is an imaging test that uses sound waves to produce pictures of your blood vessels, which can help your doctor find an aneurysm.
  • CT angiography. CT angiography is an imaging test that uses a CT scan to find abnormalities in your blood vessels. During CT angiography, you will receive an injection of contrast dye that allows your doctor to see your blood vessels in the CT images.
  • Magnetic resonance angiography (MRA). During an MRA, you will receive an injection of contrast dye that allows your doctor to see your blood vessels in the 3D images taken by an MRI machine.

Minimally Invasive Procedures for Aneurysms

  • Endovascular stent graft aneurysm repair. Our specialists perform minimally invasive endovascular repairs of aortic and peripheral aneurysms. Endovascular techniques allow your cardiovascular specialist to perform your aneurysm repair from inside your blood vessel by threading a special catheter and stent-graft through a small incision in your groin.

Surgical Procedures for Aneurysms

  • Open surgery repair. If your aneurysm requires open surgery, our surgeons will use the latest techniques to reach your aneurysm directly. Your surgeon may use a vein graft or a prosthetic graft to reroute blood flow around the aneurysm.

What is an aneurysm?

An aneurysm occurs when the wall of your artery becomes weak and balloons out. If your artery ruptures, it can cause severe bleeding (hemorrhage) and can sometimes be deadly. Brain aneurysms occur in the arteries that supply blood to your brain and are usually treated by a neurosurgeon, but there are several other types of aneurysms that are treated by cardiovascular specialists, including:

  • Aortic aneurysm. Your aorta is the major artery that supplies blood to your vital organs. If an aneurysm occurs in the part of your aorta that passes through your chest, it is called a thoracic aortic aneurysm. If an aneurysm occurs in the part of your aorta that passes through your abdomen, it is called an abdominal aortic aneurysm.
  • Peripheral aneurysm. A peripheral aneurysm occurs in an artery other than the aorta that is located in another part of your body, such as your leg, groin, or neck.
  • Popliteal aneurysm. A popliteal aneurysm is a common type of peripheral aneurysm that occurs in the popliteal artery behind your knee.
  • Carotid artery aneurysm. A carotid artery aneurysm is a type of peripheral aneurysm that occurs in the arteries on either side of your neck.

What are the symptoms of an aortic or peripheral aneurysm?

Aneurysms may not cause symptoms until they become very large or rupture, which is a medical emergency. Also, symptoms of your aneurysm will depend on where the aneurysm is located. Common symptoms of aortic or peripheral aneurysms include:

  • Severe pain at the site of the aneurysm that doesn't go away
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Dizziness
  • Low blood pressure
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Clammy skin
  • A feeling that something is not right

Who is at risk for aortic or peripheral aneurysms?

You may be at an increased risk of developing an aortic or peripheral aneurysm if you have a condition that injures or weakens the walls of your arteries, such as atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), trauma, or infection. Other risk factors include:

  • Aging
  • Certain genetic conditions
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • A personal or family history of aneurysms

How can I prevent aortic or peripheral aneurysms?

You may not be able to control some of your risk factors for aortic or peripheral aneurysms, such as aging, genetic conditions, and family history. However, eating a heart-healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, quitting smoking, and controlling chronic conditions such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol may help to lower your risk.

Concerned about your risk of aneurysm? Learn more about our free vascular screening program for patients who have some of the risk factors for developing aneurysms.

Need more information?

  • Cumberland/Dauphin/Franklin/Lebanon/Perry Counties): 717-731-0101 or 717-231-8555
  • Adams/York Counties: 717-637-1738 or 717-849-5576

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Providers

Our Locations

UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute
Located at Brady Building
205 South Front Street
4th floor
Harrisburg, PA 17104

Phone: 717-231-8555
Fax: 717-231-8568  

UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute
Located at Medical Office Building
310 Stock Street
Suite 3
Hanover, PA 17331

Phone: 717-637-1738
Fax: 717-646-7430

UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute
1000 North Front Street
Wormleysburg, PA 17043

Adult Cardiology: 717-731-0101
Pediatric Cardiology: 717-761-0200
Fax: 717-731-8359

UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute
2808 Old Post Road
Harrisburg, PA 17110

Adult Cardiology: 717-920-4400
Pediatric Cardiology: 717-761-0200
Fax: 717-920-4401

UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute
360 Alexander Spring Road
Carlisle, PA 17013

Adult Cardiology: 717-243-6557
Pediatric Cardiology: 717-761-0200
Fax: 717-243-0102

UPMC Harrisburg Campus
111 South Front Street
Harrisburg, PA 17101

717-782-3131

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