People with Marfan syndrome need lifelong monitoring and care. Without treatment, the average person with Marfan syndrome rarely lives past 40. With regular monitoring and modern treatment, most people with Marfan syndrome can now expect to live a more normal life span.
At Mayo Clinic, treatment for Marfan syndrome is tailored to your individual needs. In most cases, doctors prescribe medications to lower blood pressure because this reduces the strain on the weakened walls of the aorta.
People who have Marfan syndrome typically need to have an echocardiogram at least once a year to monitor the diameter of the aorta. Other heart imaging options include computerized tomography (CT) scans and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
If your aorta's diameter enlarges quickly or reaches a dangerous size — usually around 2 inches (5 centimeters) — your doctor may recommend an operation to replace that portion of your aorta with a tube made of synthetic material. This can help prevent a life-threatening rupture.
In some cases, the valve that connects your aorta and heart may need to be replaced with a mechanical valve. These artificial valves are more likely to become infected or create clots, so you'll need to take blood-thinning medicine for the rest of your life. For some patients, a newer operation that spares the natural aortic valve may be considered. This helps reduce the risks of clots and infections.