Dr. Antonios Pitsis, PhD, FETCS, FESC

Head of Cardiac Surgery

Surgery of the aorta

Surgery of the aorta

Surgery of the aorta

The aorta is the largest artery in the body and is divided in the thoracic and abdominal aorta. A thoracic aortic aneurysm is a dilatation of more than 50% of the normal diameter in an area where the vessel wall is weak.


  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dysphagia
  • Hoarseness
  • Haemoptysis
  • Superior Vena Cava Syndrome

In case of dilation of the aortic root, diastolic insufficiency of the aortic valve is produced.

Rupture of the aneurysm is a dramatic complication and it can lead to oligoemic shock from uncontrolled bleeding.

Very often aneurysms are asymptomatic and are diagnosed by chance (incidental findings).


  • Atherosclerosis
  • Degeneration of the middle lining of the vessel
  • Separation of the aortic wall
  • Connective tissue disorders (Marfan, Ehlers-Danlos syndromes)
  • Bicuspid aortic valve
  • Aortitis
  • Infection
  • Trauma

Aortic aneurysm is a serious disease because depending on its size, it can cause rupture or dissection of the aorta.

Surgical treatment:

In a small asymptomatic aneurysm, follow-up, usually by computed tomography, is recommended at regular intervals with simultaneous strict control of blood pressure.

Large or incidental lesions will require surgical treatment. The aneurysm is excised and the continuation of the vessel is restored with a prosthetic graft.

If the aneurysm involves the ascending aorta and is accompanied by significant dilation of the aortic root and insufficiency of the aortic valve, then these problems must be treated surgically by repairing or replacing the aortic valve and aortic root.

Our Cardiac Surgery Team performs these surgeries through a mini sternotomy. It should be noted that these surgeries are performed using extracorporeal circulation. In the case of aortic arch aneurysm, the technique of deep hypothermia with circulatory cessation is applied through a mini sternotomy approach.


Information for cardiac patients
See the Cardiac Surgery Information Guide

Dr. Pitsis is the Head of Cardiac Surgery in Interbalkan Medical Center, Thessaloniki, Greece. He specialises in totally endoscopic, minimally invasive and endovascular techniques.

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Interbalkan Medical Center

Asklipiou 10, 55 535, Pilaia, Greece

+30 2310 400850


Papakiritsi 8 & Adrianoupoleos, 551 33 Kalamaria - Thessaloniki, Greece

+30 2310 407424