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Operative Therapies


The aortic root forms the first part of the ascending aorta.  The root includes the coronary arteries, which supply blood to the heart, and the aortic valve.

Diseases of the aortic root typically require an aortic root replacement.


If the valve is not damaged, procedures performed at the Center for Aortic Disease allow the patient's aortic valve to be spared, while replacing all of the other structures of the aortic root.  These procedures are called Valve Sparing Aortic Root Remodeling (VSARR) These are advanced procedures typically utilized at experienced aortic centers.

Aortic Root

Ascending Aorta

The ascending aorta is the portion of the aorta traveling up to head vessels. 

The replacement of the ascending aorta is relatively straight forward with low risk. 

Aortic Arch


The aortic arch is the portion of the aorta that supplies the vessels traveling to the head and brain.  Surgery and intervention on this area require specialized circulation management to provide adequate blood flow to the head, the body, and the heart.  The slide show indicates modern,  innovative techniques used to minimize the risk of surgery.   Please see our less invasive therapies page for minimally invasive, endovascular therapy for appropriate patients. 

Descending Aorta

The descending aorta may require open chest incision.  However, those aortic diseases limited to the chest are often treated with minimally invasive endovascular stent graft therapy.  Open treatment may still be necessary for complex aortic aneurysms with dissection flaps which are not candidates for endovascular stent grafts. In addition, aneurysms and dissections that extend into the abdomin- thoracoabdominal aneurysms- require extensive endovascular or open surgical therapy.  Reimplantation of the renal and mesenteric vessels (the arteries that feed the kidneys and abdominal organs) is required, and there is a risk of paralysis.  The Center for Aortic Disease is involved in developing innovative techniques to lessen the risk, as well as participating in national studies with novel therapies to decrease the chance of paralysis.

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