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Aortic Disease

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Dr. Louis Astra at Florida Hospital North Pinellas Surgical Institute is a highly experienced thoracic, vascular and general surgeon to whom patients across the Tampa Bay metro area are often referred for surgical repair of aortic abnormalities brought about by disease or injury. He specializes in treating patients with abdominal aortic aneurysm, thoracoabdominal aneurysm and atheromatous disease of the aorta, as well as stenosis and heart valve diseases.

To arrange for a surgical consult with Dr. Louis Astra, please call 727.270.9927 or fill out an appointment request form here, and a member of our staff will contact you shortly.

Abdominal aortic aneurysm

This potentially life-threatening condition, diagnosed primarily in men aged 60 years and up, refers to a swelling (or bulging) of the aortic artery. Depending on the degree of the swelling, the condition may be symptomless, but at some point, the bulge may rupture, causing an emergency.  Dr. Astra at Florida Hospital North Pinellas Surgical Institute is an expert in repairing aneurysms that are leaking, bleeding or otherwise in danger of rupturing. He is skilled in both the traditional (open) method of aortic repair and endovascular stent grafting, an advanced and minimally invasive method that requires a much smaller incision and has a quicker recovery time.

Thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysm (TAA)

Sometimes referred to as “the silent killer,” thoraco-abdominal aortic aneurysms (TAAs) are so-named because of their location in the portion of the aortic blood vessel that flows through the abdomen and chest. If you are a man who is over the age of 65, are a smoker and/or have a family history of vascular disease, you are a greater risk of developing this condition than others. Typically brought on by “hardening of the arteries” (also known as atherosclerosis), such aneurysms may be treated in certain patients by replacing a portion of the blood vessel with a graft of artificial material. Dr. Astra is adept at providing endovascular stent grafts for patients for whom this is an appropriate treatment – meaning, typically, those who have not yet experienced a rupture and whose aneurysm is 5 or more centimeters large.  

Atheromatous disease of the aorta

This condition refers to a build-up of cholesterol, fibrous tissue and other matter within the wall of the aorta, and is a leading risk factor for stroke. Dr. Astra at Florida Hospital North Pinellas Surgical Institute specializes in providing surgical interventions for atheromatous disease (also known as atherosclerosis) of the aorta, and has helped many patients to receive effective, life-saving surgery that allows them to return to a more active, healthy lifestyle.

Diagnostic Methods

  • Physical exam
  • Angiography
  • Transesophageal echocardiography (TEE)
  • Echocardiography
  • Electrocardiography
  • Radionuclide scans
  • Ultrasonography

Surgical Treatments

Patients with a thoracic aortic aneurysm may be candidates for surgical repair depending on their specific condition.

  • Thoracoabdominal repair
  • Thoracic aorta endovascular stent graft procedures