Aorta Center

800.659.7822 Toll Free

 

Thoracic Aorta / Abdominal Aorta

The aorta is the body’s main artery that carries blood from the heart to the rest of the body. The section of the aorta that starts with the aortic valve in the heart and goes to the diaphragm is called the thoracic aorta. The part of the aorta that extends from the diaphragm through the abdomen is called the abdominal aorta.

The aorta can become damaged and weakened, causing it to become wider (aneurysm) or torn (dissection), which increases your risk of having a life-threatening event. This type of damage can be caused by injury or a number of diseases and health conditions. These include:

  • atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries)
  • medial degeneration
  • hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • genetic conditions (such as Marfan Syndrome)
  • and other connective tissue disorders (such as Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, Loeys-Dietz Syndrome, bicuspid aortic valve disease, osteogenesis imperfecta, polycystic kidney disease and Turners Syndrome) and inflammatory and autoimmune diseases (such as aortitis).

Many patients with thoracic aorta conditions will also have aortic valve involvement and will need concurrent aortic valve repair or replacement. In addition, those with disease in the abdominal aorta may have disease that extends into attached blood vessels, requiring additional vascular approaches.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates there are more than 43,000 patients that die each year from aortic diseases. Those who have aortic disease should be treated by an experienced team of cardiovascular surgeons and specialists.

Connective tissue provides support to many structures within the body, such as the heart valves, blood vessels (the aorta), eyes, bones, nervous system and lungs; therefore, patients with connective tissue disorders require a multi-disciplinary approach to their care and long-term follow-up.

The mission of the Aorta Center is to bring together a knowledgeable and experienced multidisciplinary team of cardiology and vascular doctors and surgeons and other experts to provide:

  • A thorough evaluation of patients using state-of-the art diagnostic testing
  • Ongoing comprehensive care for patients with disease of the aorta, connective tissue disorder and Marfan Syndrome
  • Genetic screening for families of patients with genetic disorders
  • Ongoing research and education to provide patients with high quality and innovative therapies
Resources
  1. Svensson, LG, Rodriguez ER. "Aortic organ disease epidemic, and why do balloons pop?" Editorial, Circulation. 2005 Aug 23; 112(8): 1082-1084.
  2. Svensson LG, Blackstone EH, Cosgrove DM 3rd. "Surgical options in young adults with aortic valve disease". Curr Probl Cardiol. 2003 Jul; 28(7): 417-80.
  3. Svensson, Lars G and E. Stanley Crawford. "Cardiovascular and vascular disease of the aorta".  W.B. Saunders Company, Philadelphia (1997).
»Recent Important Publications and Reports

The Aorta Center is made up of a multidisciplinary group of specialists in cardiology, cardiac surgery, vascular medicine, vascular surgery, cardiothoracic anesthesia, cardiovascular imaging, genetics, ophthalmology and orthopaedic surgery. These clinicians provide expertise in genetic and diagnostic testing, medical management and surgical and endovascular procedures, and are dedicated to provide care to patients with all types of aortic disease. These include:

Because of our breadth and scope of expertise we are able to offer a full range of treatments that include:

Why choose Cleveland Clinic for your care?

Our outcomes speak for themselves. Please review our facts and figures and if you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask.

Cleveland Clinic performs approximately 1,200 aorta operations each year, 900 on the thoracic aorta and some 1,500 aortic valve procedures. Our heart surgeons perform 300 – 400 heart operations each year.

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Collaboration among heart and vascular doctors, surgeons, diagnosticians and other medical specialists allows us to provide each patient with a thorough evaluation, follow-up and treatments to meet their individual needs.

Our Medical Team

(* Physicians with an asterisk (*) by their name specialize in treating patients with Marfan Disease and Connective Tissue Disorders)

Dr Svensson


»Surgical Team
Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
Vascular Surgery
Cardiothoracic Anesthesia
Pediatric & Congenital Heart Surgery
»Clinical Team
Tomsich Family Department of Cardiovascular Medicine
Pediatric Cardiology
»Advanced Imaging Team (CT and MRI)
»Other Specialties
Genetics
Ophthalmology
Orthopedic Surgery
Registry
Rhematic & Immunologic Disease

What to Expect

Whether you are coming from around the corner or around the world, you want to know what to expect before, during and after your visit with us. If you have any questions while reviewing this information, please contact us. We are happy to answer any questions you may have.

Becoming a Patient by Discipline

Due to the nature of aorta disease, there may be a few ways to become a patient. For example, patients may want to be followed clinically (or medically) for some time, or may be beginning the diagnosis of aorta disease. Others may be exploring treatment options and require a surgery consultation. Last, patients with Marfan Syndrome or Connective Tissue disorders may want to obtain a comprehensive treatment plan. We are here for you every step of the way. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to call.

»Clinical Team Appointments

If your scheduled appointment is at least one week away, you will be asked to send in a copy of your medical records, including a medical history, test results and films (echocardiogram, ultrasound, chest X-ray, MRI, CT). All information should be sent in the same package (clearly marked with your name and address) via Airborne Express, Federal Express, or certified U.S. mail (make sure you have a tracking number) to the physician you will be seeing at Cleveland Clinic. Your appointment may be with Vascular Medicine (Desk J3 - 5), Cardiovascular Imaging (Desk J1 - 5) or Clinical Cardiology (Desk J2 - 4), depending on your condition and needs.

The address to mail your records is:
Physician Name
Cleveland Clinic
Desk Number
9500 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44195

If your scheduled appointment is less than one week away, please bring your records to your appointment.

Traveling to Cleveland Clinic

To help make your visit to Cleveland Clinic as easy as possible, please visit:
Information on travel to the Miller Family Heart and Vascular Institute.

What to expect during your appointment

Your appointment will begin by meeting with a nurse or physician assistant (PA) who will collect information about your medical history, symptoms and test results, and enter your information into our electronic medical record. This will help the doctor during your exam.

You may need blood and imaging tests, such as an electrocardiogram, echocardiogram, MRI or CT scan. The specialists in the Aorta Center will use these tests to help diagnosis your condition or create an individualized treatment plan for you. A cardiologist from the Aorta Center will review your records, take a medical history, perform a physical exam, and, if needed, consult with other physicians in the Aorta Center to discuss your condition. If you need to meet with one of the multidisciplinary specialists, they will be consulted and we hope to arrange a meeting with them within a day to limit travel to and from Cleveland Clinic. The Aorta Center cardiologist will talk to you about your diagnosis and plan of care within 1 to 2 days, depending on when your test results are completed.

How long will you need to stay at Cleveland Clinic?

You should plan on spending 1 to 2 days in the Cleveland area. Your stay may be longer if a treatment is scheduled at the time of your visit.

Follow-up

Your doctor will talk to you about your plan for follow-up care.

»Cardiovascular Surgery Team Appointments

If you would like information about your surgical options for your aorta disease, you can send your medical records in for a review. The process involves several steps:

  • Contact the Heart and Vascular Institute Resource Nurses, who will collect information such as your contact information and what type of surgery you need.
  • The nurses will give you a list of the information needed to complete the surgical review and give you instructions on how to send in your information.
  • You will send in your records to be reviewed by one of our surgeons.
  • The surgeon’s office will call you to let you know about your surgical options. The process generally takes a couple weeks once we receive your films, unless your physician determines that there is an urgent need for surgery.
  • If you decide to have surgery at Cleveland Clinic, you will be scheduled for a surgery date.
What to expect during your appointment  

You will arrive a few days before your surgery to have a full evaluation and meet your surgical team. You and your family will attend a complete education program to prepare you for what to expect before, during and after your surgery. See Heart Surgery at Cleveland Clinic for more information about having surgery at Cleveland Clinic.

How long will you need to stay at Cleveland Clinic?

Your hospital stay depends on many factors, such as your condition, the type of surgery you need and your medical history. Generally, patients who live outside of the Cleveland area come to Cleveland a day or two prior to surgery, stay in the hospital 5 to 7 days, and stay in Cleveland at least one night after leaving the hospital before traveling home. We ask that you return to Cleveland Clinic for a post-op visit during the first week after you leave the hospital, so you may want to plan on staying in the area until after that visit.

Follow-up

Your doctor will talk to you about your plan for follow-up care.

»Vascular Surgery Appointments

If your scheduled appointment is at least one week away, you will be asked to send in a copy of your medical records, including a medical history, test results and films (echocardiogram, ultrasound, chest X-ray, MRI, CT). All information should be sent in the same package (clearly marked with your name and address) via Airborne Express, Federal Express, or certified U.S. mail (make sure you have a tracking number) to the physician you will be seeing at Cleveland Clinic. Your appointment may be with Vascular Medicine (Desk J3 - 5), Cardiovascular Imaging (Desk J1 - 5) or Clinical Cardiology (Desk J2 - 4), depending on your condition and needs.

The address to mail your records is:
Physician Name
Cleveland Clinic
Desk F - 30
9500 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44195

If your scheduled appointment is less than one week away, please bring your records to your appointment.

Traveling to Cleveland Clinic

To help make your visit to Cleveland Clinic as easy as possible, please visit:
Information on travel to the Miller Family Heart and Vascular Institute.

What to expect during your appointment

Your appointment will begin by meeting with a nurse or physician assistant (PA) who will collect information about your medical history, symptoms and test results, and enter your information into our electronic medical record. This will help the doctor during your exam.

You may need blood and imaging tests, such as an MRI or CT scan. The specialists in the Aorta Center will use these tests to help diagnose your condition or create an individualized treatment plan for you.

A vascular surgeon from the Aorta Center will review your records, take a medical history, perform a physical exam, and, if needed, consult with other physicians in the Aorta Center to discuss your condition. If you need to meet with one of the multidisciplinary specialists, they will hope to arrange a meeting with them within a day to limit travel to and from Cleveland Clinic. The Aorta Center vascular surgeon will talk to you about your diagnosis and plan of care within 1 to 2 days, depending on when your test results are completed.

How long will you need to stay at Cleveland Clinic?

You should plan on spending 1 to 2 days in the Cleveland area. Your stay may be longer if a treatment is scheduled at the time of your visit.

If you need to have vascular surgery at the time of your visit, the amount of time you spend in the hospital will depend on many factors, such as your condition, the type of surgery you need and your medical history. Generally, patients who live outside of the Cleveland area come to Cleveland a day before their surgery, stay in the hospital 3 to 7 days, and stay in Cleveland at least one night after leaving the hospital before traveling home.

Follow-up

Your doctor will talk to you about your plan for follow-up care.

»Marfan Syndrome and Connective Tissue Disorder Clinic

Due to the complex nature of Marfan and Connective Tissue Disorders, you may be interested in having a full evaluation that involves specialists in cardiology, ophthalmology, orthopedics and other departments, as needed.

If you are older than 16 years of age, these appointments can be arranged by calling the office of  Dr. Svensson, Director of the Aorta Center and Marfan Syndrome and Connective Tissue Disorder Clinic.
Please call 216.445.4813 or toll free 800.223-.2273, extension 54813.

General Information - Aorta Center

By Phone

Department of Cardiovascular Medicine
216.444.6697 or toll-free 800.223.2273, ext. 46697

Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery
toll-free 866.289.6911

Department of Vascular Surgery
216.444.4508 or toll-free 800.223.2273, ext. 44508


Directions

Cleveland Clinic is located at:
9500 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44195

Your appointment will be scheduled in the Miller Family Heart & Vascular Institute (J or F Building).

When you make your appointment, ask for your physician’s name and desk number.

You may find the following links helpful:

If you have trouble finding your physician’s desk once you arrive at Cleveland Clinic, you can ask any of our Red Coats for directions. They are happy to help.

Online

Use our secure online form to submit an appointment request 24/7. We will receive it and follow-up with you as soon as possible.



Online Second Opinions

Use our secure online form to submit an online second opinion request.



Physician Referrals

Mon. - Fri., 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. (ET):
toll-free 800.659.7822

At all other times, call Patient Access Services locally 216.444.8302 or toll-free 800.553.5056

For Patients

Cleveland Clinic Heart and Vascular Institute physicians, surgeons, and researchers continue to research into new treatments and therapies with the goal of improving patient care and outcomes into the future.

Conditions


Video Information - Tab One

Video Information - Tab Two

Treatments


Video Information - Tab One

Video Information - Tab Two



Additional Presentations and Videos

Reviewed: 07/14

Talk to a Nurse: Mon. - Fri., 8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. (ET)

Call a Heart & Vascular Nurse locally 216.445.9288 or toll-free 866.289.6911.

Schedule an Appointment

Toll-free 800.659.7822

This information is provided by Cleveland Clinic and is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or health care provider. Please consult your health care provider for advice about a specific medical condition.

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