Signs and Symptoms
Many Do Not Have Symptoms
You may not feel any symptoms with a TAA. Only half of patients with this condition notice symptoms. Symptoms depend on where your thoracic aortic aneurysm is located, whether or not you have another condition called an aortic dissection, and the size of the aneurysm. An aortic dissection occurs when the layers of the aorta separate, sometimes squeezing off blood flow through the main aorta or any of its branches.
- Pain in the jaw, neck and upper back
- Chest or back pain
- Coughing, hoarseness, or difficulty breathing
Congestive Heart Failure
If your thoracic aneurysm is large and located near your heart, it may affect your heart valves and lead to a condition known as congestive heart failure, itself a serious illness that can be deadly if not managed.
The symptoms of aortic dissection can occur suddenly and severely. For example, you may feel a sharp, tearing pain in your chest or upper back. But it is also common not to notice any symptoms. If not treated early, aortic dissection can lead to a TAA by causing the weakened area of the aorta to bulge.
It is critical to notify your doctor immediately if you experience any symptoms that may indicate TAA or aortic dissection. If left untreated, these conditions may lead to a fatal rupture or organ damage.