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Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm: Treatments

What is a Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm ?

A thoracic aortic aneurysm, also called TAA, is a bulging, weakened area in the wall of the aorta (the largest artery in the body), resulting in an abnormal widening or ballooning greater than 50 percent of the normal diameter (width).

The aorta extends upward from the top of the left ventricle of the heart in the chest area (ascending thoracic aorta), then curves like a candy cane (aortic arch) downward through the chest area (descending thoracic aorta) into the abdomen (abdominal aorta). The aorta delivers oxygenated blood pumped from the heart to the rest of the body.

An aneurysm can be characterized by its location, shape, and cause. A thoracic aortic aneurysm is located in the chest area. The thoracic aorta can be divided into segments: ascending aorta, aortic arch, and descending aorta, as described above. An aneurysm may be located in one of these areas and/or may be continuous throughout the aorta. An aneurysm called a thoracoabdominal aneurysm involves a thoracic aortic aneurysm extending down to the abdominal aorta.

Aneurysm Repair Surgery, Aneurysm Surgery India Aneurysm Repair Surgery, Aneurysm Surgery India, Vascular Surgeon, Thoracic Aneurysms

Thoracic aneurysms do not occur as often as abdominal aneurysms. The descending thoracic aorta is the most common location of a thoracic aneurysm, followed by the ascending segment, then the arch.

The location of an aneurysm is distinctly connected with the cause, course, and treatment of a thoracic aneurysm.

Types of thoracic aortic aneurysms

The shape of an aneurysm is described as being fusiform or saccular which helps to identify a true aneurysm. A true aneurysm involves all three layers of the arterial blood vessel wall.

The more common fusiform-shaped aneurysm bulges or balloons out on all sides of the aorta. A saccular-shaped aneurysm bulges or balloons out only on one side.

A pseudoaneurysm, or false aneurysm, is an enlargement of only the outer layer of the blood vessel wall. A false aneurysm may be the result of prior surgery or trauma.

Sometimes, a tear may occur on the inside layer of the vessel resulting in blood entering the layers of the blood vessel wall, creating a pseudoaneurysm.

Aneurysm Repair Surgery, Vascular Surgeon, Thoracic Aneurysms

[ Types of Aneurysms ]

The aorta is under constant pressure from blood being ejected from the heart. With each heartbeat, the walls of the aorta expand and spring back, exerting continual pressure or stress on the already weakened aneurysm wall.

Therefore, there is a potential for rupture (bursting) or dissection (separation of the layers of the thoracic aortic wall), which may cause life-threatening hemorrhage (uncontrolled bleeding) and, potentially, death.

Once formed, an aneurysm will gradually increase in size and there will be a progressive weakening of the aneurysm wall. Treatment for a thoracic aneurysm may include surgical repair or removal of the aneurysm to prevent rupture.

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What causes a thoracic aortic aneurysm to form ?

Thoracic aortic aneurysms may be caused by different disease processes, especially in respect to their location.

Examples of different locations of thoracic aortic aneurysms and their causes may include, but are not limited to, the following : –

Location of Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm Causes Associated with Aneurysm Type
Ascending Thoracic Aneurysm

cystic medial degeneration (necrosis) – breaking down of the tissue of the aortic wall. This is the most common cause of this type of thoracic aortic aneurysm.
genetic disorders which affect the connective tissue, such as Marfan syndrome and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome
family history of thoracic aortic aneurysm with no incidence of Marfan syndrome
atherosclerosis – hardening of the arteries caused by a build-up of plaque in the inner lining of an artery. This is a rare cause of ascending thoracic aortic aneurysm.
infection, syphilis (rare causes of thoracic aortic aneurysm)

Aortic Arch Thoracic Aneurysm

Takayasu’s arteritis – a type of vasculitis that causes inflammation of the arteries
continuation of an ascending and/or descending aortic aneurysm

Descending Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm Atherosclerosis is most often associated with descending thoracic aneurysms, and is thought to play an important role in aneurysmal disease, including the risk factors associated with atherosclerosis such as : –

age (greater than 55)
male gender
family history (first-degree relatives such as father or brother)
genetic factors
hyperlipidemia (elevated fats in the blood)
hypertension (high blood pressure)

What are the symptoms of a thoracic aortic aneurysm ?

Thoracic aortic aneurysms may be asymptomatic (without symptoms) or symptomatic (with symptoms). Symptoms of a thoracic aneurysm may be related to the location, size, and growth rate of the aneurysm. Severe onset of pain associated with a thoracic aneurysm may be a sign of a life-threatening medical emergency.

Symptoms of an ascending thoracic aneurysm may include, but are not limited to, the following : –

pain in the chest, neck, and/or back
swelling of head, neck, and arms as a result of pressure on large blood vessels
heart failure – an ascending aneurysm may affect the heart valves, causing blood to back up into the heart

Symptoms of an aortic arch aneurysm or a descending thoracic aneurysm may include, but are not limited to, the following : –

wheezing, coughing, or shortness of breath as a result of pressure on the trachea (windpipe)
coughing up blood (hemoptysis)
hoarseness as a result of pressure on the vocal cords
difficulty swallowing (dysphagia) due to pressure on the esophagus
pain in the chest and/or back

The symptoms of a thoracic aortic aneurysm may resemble other conditions. Consult your physician for a diagnosis.

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How is a thoracic aortic aneurysm diagnosed ?

In addition to a complete medical history and physical examination, diagnostic procedures for a thoracic aortic aneurysm may include any, or a combination,

of the following : –

Computed tomography scan (Also called a CT or CAT scan.) : – A CT scan shows detailed images of any part of the body, including the bones, muscles, fat, and organs. CT scans are more detailed than standard x-rays.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) : – a diagnostic procedure that uses a combination of large magnets, radiofrequencies, and a computer to produce detailed images of organs and structures within the body.

Echocardiogram (ECG/EKG) : – a procedure that evaluates the structure and function of the heart by using sound waves recorded on an electronic sensor

Transesophageal echocardiogram (TEE) : – a diagnostic procedure that uses echocardiography to assess the presence of an aneurysm, the condition of heart valves, and/or presence of a dissection (tear) of the lining of the aorta. TEE is performed by inserting a probe with a transducer on the end down the throat.

Chest X-ray : – a diagnostic test which uses invisible electromagnetic energy beams to produce images of internal tissues, bones, and organs onto film.

Arteriogram (angiogram) : – an x-ray image of the blood vessels used to evaluate various conditions, such as aneurysm, stenosis (narrowing of the blood vessel), or blockages. A dye (contrast) will be injected through a thin flexible tube placed in an artery. The dye makes the blood vessels visible on an x-ray.

Treatment for thoracic aortic aneurysm

Treatment may include : –

routine MRI or CT : – to monitor the size and rate of growth of the aneurysm

controlling or modifying risk factors : – steps such as quitting smoking, controlling blood sugar if diabetic, losing weight if overweight or obese, and controlling dietary fat intake may help to control the progression of the aneurysm

medication : – to control factors such as hyperlipidemia (elevated levels of fats in the blood) and/or high blood pressure

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Surgery : –

Thoracic aortic aneurysm open repair

The type of surgical repair of a thoracic aortic aneurysm will depend on several factors: the location of the aneurysm, the type of aneurysm, and the patient’s tolerance for the procedure.

For an ascending or aortic arch aneurysm, a large incision may be made through the breastbone (median sternotomy). If an ascending aneurysm involves damage to the aortic valve of the heart, the valve may be repaired or replaced during the procedure.

For a descending aneurysm, a large incision may extend from the back under the shoulder blade around the side of the rib cage to just under the breast (thoracotomy).

These approaches allow the surgeon to visualize the aorta directly to repair the aneurysm.

Endovascular aneurysm repair (EVAR)

EVAR is a procedure which requires only small incisions in the groin, along with the use of x-ray guidance and specially-designed instruments, to repair the aneurysm by inserting a tube, called a stent-graft, inside the aorta.

Asymptomatic aneurysms may not require surgical intervention until they reach a certain size or are noted to be increasing in size over a certain period of time.

Parameters considered when making surgical decisions include, but are not limited to, the following : –

aneurysm size greater than 5.5 to 6 centimeters (greater than two inches)
aneurysm growth rate 0.5 centimeters (slightly less than one-fourth inch) over a period of six months to one year
presence of genetic disorders or familial history of thoracic aneurysms
patient’s ability to tolerate the procedure

What is aortic dissection ?

An aortic dissection begins with a tear in the inner layer of the aortic wall, usually in the ascending or descending thoracic aorta. The aortic wall is made up of three layers of tissue.

When a tear occurs in the innermost layer of the aortic wall, blood is then channeled into the wall of the aorta separating the layers of tissues. This generates great pressure in the aortic wall with a potential to rupture (burst). Aortic dissection can be a life-threatening emergency.

Aneurysm Surgery India, Thoracic Aneurysms, Surgical Aneurysm Repair

[ Aortic Dissection ]

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What causes aortic dissection ?

The cause of aortic dissection is still under investigation.

However, there are several risk factors associated with aortic dissection, such as : –

hypertension (high blood pressure)
connective tissue disorders, such as Marfan’s disease, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, and Turner’s syndrome
cystic medial disease (a degenerative disease of the aortic wall)
aortitis (inflammation of the aorta)
existing thoracic aneurysm
bicuspid aortic valve – presence of only two cusps, or leaflets, in the aortic valve, rather than the normal three cusps
coarctation of the aorta (narrowing of the aorta)
hypervolemia (excess fluid or volume in the circulation)
polycystic kidney disease (a genetic disorder characterized by the growth of numerous cysts filled with fluid in the kidneys)

What are the symptoms of aortic dissection ?

The most commonly reported symptom of an acute aortic dissection is severe, constant chest and/or upper back pain, sometimes described as “ripping” or “tearing.” The pain may be “migratory,” moving from one place to another, according to the direction and extent of the dissection.

How is aortic dissection diagnosed ?

In addition to a complete medical history and physical examination, diagnostic procedures for an aneurysm may include any, or a combination,
of the following : –

computed tomography scan (Also called a CT or CAT scan.) : – a diagnostic imaging procedure that uses a combination of x-rays and computer technology to produce cross-sectional images (often called slices), both horizontally and vertically, of the body.

A CT scan shows detailed images of any part of the body, including the bones, muscles, fat, and organs. CT scans are more detailed than general x-rays.

transesophageal echocardiogram (TEE) : – a diagnostic procedure that uses echocardiography to assess the heart’s function and structures. A transesophageal echocardiogram is performed by inserting a probe with a transducer down the esophagus.

By inserting the transducer in the esophagus, TEE provides a clearer image of the heart because the sound waves do not have to pass through skin, muscle, or bone tissue.

The physician will determine the most appropriate examination. When a diagnosis of aortic dissection is confirmed, immediate intervention, such as surgery, is usually performed.

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Preventive & Wellness Unit

Preventive and Wellness Unit

The Preventive and Wellness Unit, provides services to screen patients to detect diseases and accordingly advice on any lifestyle modifications. In an era, where the silent killer diseases such as Hypertension, Diabetes and Ischaemic Heart Disease have taken centre stage due to unhealthy lifestyles and eating habits, the choice of undergoing regular screening tests and health checks is very important.

Kshema Jeevana’s scope includes dealing with all patients who want to avail the services of a family physician. If the person is found to be hypertensive or diabetic during examination, then appropriate medicines are prescribed. Specific investigations are advised depending on the clinical condition of the person. Information leaflets are also given to the patients depending on their condition.

At BBH we offer 15 health packages which can be availed by people. Additional tests can be added to the package at a discounted rate.

“The choice of a right decision today leads to a happy and healthy tomorrow.”

Medical Genetics


Medical Genetics :

The Division of Medical Genetics provides state-of-the-art evaluation, diagnosis, treatment and counseling for the variety of genetic disorders.

Patients are evaluated by a multi-disciplinary team of physicians and nurses who specialize in genetics, syndrome identification, metabolic diseases and birth defects.

In order for you to receive the most comprehensive and coordinated care, our staff works closely with other medical and surgical specialist.

Genetics is an upcoming branch of medicine, with growing applications in clinical practice. Today it is important and will become even more important as our understanding of human genome evolves. Online Mendelian Inheritance In Man (OMIM) is a continuously updated catalog of human genes and genetic disorders. There are thousands of genes and genetic disorders. Each genetic disorder has its own guidelines to diagnose, manage and counsel. There are many genetic tests available. There are few genetic disorders in which effective treatment options are available. In future treatment will be available for many more genetic disorders. Currently there are many other modalities to manage genetic disorders, there by patients and family gets help and support. The myth that nothing can be done for genetic disorders has to go. Our aim is to integrate good genetic practice for quality health care system. We have both clinical genetics and related laboratory services.
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The Department of Anaesthesia focuses on providing high-quality medical care, clinical care, training, research, and education within the scope of anaesthesia and pain medicine.

Our range of anaesthesia services are extended to patients of General Surgery, Orthopaedics, ENT, Urology, Plastic Surgery and also include:

Paediatric anaesthesia
Regional anaesthesia
Day care anaesthesia
Labour analgesia
Thoracic anaesthesia
Anaesthesia in remote locations
Anaesthesia for vascular surgeries
Acute pain services
Fiber-optic Intubation
Obstetric anaesthesia
Patient controlled analgesia

Oncology : Treatments


The Department of Oncology provides quality and compassionate cancer care at affordable prices. These include cancer surgery, Chemotherapy and Radiotherapy. Driven by a dynamic and dedicated team of Onco-surgeons, Radiation oncologists, Medical oncologist, Medical physicists, Radiation technologists, Oncology nurses and counselors, the department has the capability to manage cancer patients across all age groups.

The Radiotherapy department has a state-of-the-art Linear accelerator (Eleckta Synergy) with IMRT capabilities and sophisticated software and hardware systems. The physics equipments used for quality assurance are also of international standards.

At the multidisciplinary tumour board held every week, cases which require multiple modalities of treatment are discussed by the experts from each speciality with the concerned families. Patient program and support group meetings are held periodically to encourage patients in their treatment. Program and games for children and their families are held at regular intervals. We have associated with organisations such as Make-a-Wish Foundation and TEENS mad for various patient related activities. We also hold cancer screening camps periodically.

Our range of services includes:

Chemotherapy Port catheter
Biological targeted therapy
Intraperitoneal chemotherapy
Pediatric chemotherapy
Hemat-oncology chemotherapy
Gold Seed fiducial guided RT
Palliative care medicine
Breast oncology
Colorectal oncology
Hepatobiliary oncology
Head and neck oncology

The department also has a well-equipped library providing books on Radiation and Medical Oncology and Medical Physics


Neonatology: Procedure

NICU or Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, specializes in the care of ill or premature newborn infants or those newborn requiring close care and monitoring. There is a step down Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU) to take care of preterm babies, who are feeding and growing rapidly but need monitoring till they are fit for discharge.

The department of Neonatology, has neonatologists, pediatricians, pediatric surgeons and nurses trained in newborn care round the clock. The care given to the newborn is individualised and our Neonatologists practice evidence based medicine and follow internationally accepted protocols.

Treatments and Procedures:

Provide neonatal resuscitation at every delivery
Evaluate and provide postnatal care to healthy newborn infants
Immunisation services
Care of babies born to “high risk” mothers
Care of low birth weight babies
Care of premature babies
Care of sick newborn
Babies requiring sustained respiratory support
Care and support of newborn during transport in and out of the hospital
Antenatal counselling when newborn problems are anticipated
Neonatal surgery including urological and thoracic problems
Post- operative care
Newborn screening for hearing defects
Newborn screening for inborn errors of metabolism
Parents are trained in newborn care post discharge from NICU

Tags: Premature Babies, Newborn Baby Care, Pediatric Surgery, Pediatric Doctor, Premature Baby, Baby Care, Child Doctor, Neonatologist, Columbia Asia Hospital

Hysterectomy: Treatments

A hysterectomy is a surgical procedure to remove the uterus.

A hysterectomy is an operation for a woman that will only be recommended if other treatment options have been unsuccessful.
Causes for Hysterectomy

The most common reasons for having a hysterectomy include:

Heavy periods (menorrhagia), due to fibroids for example
Pelvic pain, due to endometriosis, unsuccessfully treated pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) or fibroids for example
Prolapse of the uterus
Cancer of the uterus, ovaries or cervix


Vaginal hysterectomy illustration key

Removing uterus through vagina
Pelvic bone
Fallopian tubes and ovaries

Performing a hysterectomy

The most common reasons for having a hysterectomy include:

There are three ways that a hysterectomy can be performed. They are:

Open Hysterectomy:

1. vaginal hysterectomy
2. abdominal hysterectomy
3. laparascopic hysterectomy

Open hysterectomy

During an open hysterectomy, the uterus and cervix are removed through an incision that is made.After the uterus and cervix have been removed, the incision will be sewn up. The operation usually takes about an hour to complete.After your uterus has been removed, the incision is stitched up.

The operation will take about an hour to perform and a general anaesthetic is used.An abdominal hysterectomy may be recommended if your uterus is enlarged by fibroids or pelvic tumours and it is not possible to remove it through your vagina.

Laparoscopic hysterectomy

Laparoscopic surgery is also known as keyhole surgery. Nowadays, a laparoscopic hysterectomy is the preferred treatment method for removing the organs and surrounding tissues of the reproductive system. A laparoscopic hysterectomy is less invasive than a vaginal or abdominal hysterectomy because the incisions that are made are much smaller. This means that the wounds will be smaller and the recovery time will be quicker.

During the procedure, a small tube containing a telescope (laparoscope) and a tiny video camera will be inserted through a small incision in your abdomen.Laparoscopic hysterectomies are usually carried out under general anaesthetic.
Preoperative care

If you need to have a hysterectomy, it’s important to be as fit and healthy as possible.Good health before your operation will help reduce your risk of developing complications and speed up your recovery.

As soon as you know that you are going to have a hysterectomy, take the following steps:

Stop smoking (if you smoke).
Eat a healthy, balanced diet.
Exercise regularly.
Lose weight (if you are overweight).

Some blood tests and a general health check is done a few days before the operation to ensure that you are fit for surgery
Postoperative care

You will be given painkillers to help reduce any pain and discomfort.

The day after your operation, you will be encouraged to take a short walk. After the catheter has been removed, you should be able to pass urine normally. Any stitches that need to be removed will be taken out five-to-seven days after your operation.As a laparoscopic hysterectomy is a less invasive operation, you will usually be in hospital for a shorter period of time, providing there are no complications.

It takes about six-to-eight weeks to fully recover after having a hysterectomy. During this time, you should rest as much as possible and not lift anything heavy, such as bags of shopping. Your abdominal muscles and the surrounding tissues need time to heal.
Complications of a hysterectomy
General anaesthetic

It is very rare for serious complications to occur after having a general anaesthetic (1 in 10,000 anaesthetics given).

Bladder or bowel damage
Vaginal problems
Ovary failure
Early menopause

Side effects

After having a hysterectomy, you may experience some temporary side effects as outlined below.

Bowel and bladder disturbances
Vaginal discharge

Getting back to normal
Returning to work

How long it will take for you to return to work will depend on how you feel and what sort of work you do.

Don’t drive until you’re comfortable wearing a seatbelt and can safely perform an emergency stop.
Exercise and lifting

After having a hysterectomy, the hospital will give you information and advice about suitable forms of exercise while you recover.Don’t lift any heavy objects during your recovery period. If you have to lift light objects, make sure that your knees are bent and your back is straight.

After a hysterectomy, it’s generally recommended that you don’t have sex until any vaginal discharge has stopped and you feel comfortable and relaxed, or after a minimum of six weeks.

You no longer need to use contraception to prevent pregnancy after having a hysterectomy. However, you will still need to use condoms to protect yourself against sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

What Causes a Kidney Stone?

Kidney Stones: Unhealthy Habits & Dehydration

What Causes a Kidney Stone?

Diet, stress and unhealthy living have made us prone to various health disorders. One such health issue is the possibility of developing kidney stones. Kidney stones are a culmination of salts and mineral that collect in urine. They range from being pebble sized to being as large as golf balls. While most times kidney stones can be passed through the urinary tract, sometimes they stay in the kidneys.

The urinary tract is the system responsible for making and passing urine out of the body. It includes the kidneys, bladder, urethra (the tube that connects the bladder to the outside of the body) and ureter (connects bladder to kidneys). When urine, containing kidney stones, passes through the ureter and urethra, it can be painless or very painful.

A main reason for kidney stones to be formed in the body is because of dehydration. We pay a lot of attention to what we wear, eat and perform at the work place. However, the rat race causes us to forgo the small daily necessities for our health. Being hydrated is on such habit. Prevent getting kidney stones by constantly hydrated!

If you have pain in the following areas: groin, belly or side of the body, get a diagnosis for kidney stones done. Additionally, if urine passed is pink or reddish in color, get yourself checked for kidney stones. An early diagnosis will help prevent the condition from worsening.

Tags: Kidney Stones , Stone , Kidneys , Bladder , Urethra , Ureter , Unhealthy , Health , Urine , Dehydration , Tubes , Hydrated , Columbia Asia Hospital

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Dermatology, Venereology & Leprosy: Treatments

Dermatology, Venereology & Leprosy

The Department of Dermatology was established to provide comprehensive treatment for skin related problems at affordable costs. Equipped with state of the art medical equipment and managed by qualified and experienced skin-specialists, the Dermatology Department focuses on evidence-based medicine and quality care. The department also offers treatment for leprosy and venereal diseases.

Our range of services includes:

1. Skin peeling /polishing
2. Treatment of acne scars
3. Microdermabrasion
4. Laser hair removal using Diode laser technique
5. Mole removal using dermatosurgical techniques
6. Hair related therapy using techniques like follicular unit extraction transplant
7. Photo-therapy using UVA/UVB facilities for treatment of vitiligo, psoriasis & other skin conditions for hand/foot and whole-body
8. Dermatosurgery
9. Vitiligo Surgery
10. Nail Surgery
11. Platelet rich plasma therapy for hair loss and facial rejuvenation
12. Mesotherapy
13. Electrolysis hair removal and removal of extra skin growths and skin tags using Radio Frequency Unit and Electro Cautery(2-in-1)

Reproductive Medicine: Treatments

Reproductive Medicine –IVF Unit

The Department of Reproductive Medicine has all facilities to treat couples for infertility, providing appropriate diagnosis, medication and treatment. Infertility affects almost 10-15 percent of couples in the child bearing age. It is important to create awareness about the causes and realities of infertility, so that couples can be more open about their condition and benefit from reproductive medicine. BBH is making every effort to build awareness about reproductive medicine and provide couples with holistic care.

The department is well-equipped to conduct a detailed diagnosis of patients’ infertility conditions. The evaluation and treatment is done based on evidence-based medicine and we ensure that a truly humane approach is taken for every case. The department houses a team of highly qualified and experienced clinicians and in-house embryologists to ensure that patients get results in line with international standards, while also maintaining the confidentiality and privacy of our patients.

Our range of services includes:

1. Infertility diagnosis
2. Advanced laparoscopic surgery
3. Ovulation induction with ultrasound monitoring
4. Intrauterine insemination
5. In vitro fertilization (IVF)
6. Surgical retrieval of sperm
7. Blastocyst transfer
8. Embryo freezing – vitrification
9. Sperm freezing
10. Fertility preservation
11. Counselling services
12. Intra Cyto Plasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)

The In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) program at BBH, introduced in March 2012, recorded its first successful delivery – fraternal twins – in November 2012. Since then, the program has been helping childless couples conceive. The department of Reproductive Medicine comprises an experienced and dedicated team of specialists, and the latest technology in IVF.