The aorta is the main artery of the body. It originates from the heart. All the blood supply of the body is carried by the aorta.
The ascending aorta is part of the aorta that passes up through the chest. An aneurysm is a weakened area of the aorta. It takes on a balloon like appearance. It can be in the chest or the abdomen when it comes to the aorta.
Aneurysms can have no known cause. They can also be caused by smoking, uncontrolled high blood pressure, trauma, congenital problems (meaning from birth), cholesterol deposits. One of the major causes is age...hardening of the arteries, known as atherosclerosis.
There are no medications to shrink an aneurysm, but there are to keep blood pressure under control. No smoking and keeping cholesterol levels in check are vitally important.
Very often, people are sent to vascular or cardio-thoracic surgeons (this does not mean someone will have surgery) to keep an eye on the aneurysm. These types of physicians are the best in evaluating aneurysms. Size of the aneurysm is a key factor on determination of treatment. People need followup testing over time to keep an eye on the size. The physician will also review any symptoms for you to keep track of.
I hope this was of help to you. If you have any further questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to let me know.