Aortic Disease

About the University of Michigan Aortic Program

The University of Michigan has a long history of treating aortic disease. We began our aortic program in 1995, focusing on heart valve disease at a time when other heart programs were focusing on coronary artery disease. Aside from their own research, our leading cardiac surgeons and specialists are continually invited and named principal investigators on implantable heart valve investigational trials. Specialists at the University of Michigan Cardiovascular Center provide treatment and therapy for all types of aortic disease: 

Examples of the services we provide include:

  • Medical management of patients with heart failure resulting from aortic valve disease
  • Surgical options for aortic aneurysm, both open surgery and endovascular (minimally or non-invasive) treatments
  • Minimally invasive endovascular aortic stenting
  • Long-term care of patients with aneurysms for dissections, particularly management of hypertension and other associated cardiovascular disease

Why Choose Michigan for Aortic Disease Treatment?

We don't just offer hope for aortic disease. We offer innovative treatments and one of the lowest mortality rates in the country. At the University of Michigan Multidisciplinary Aortic Program, we bring together a team of specialists from six different areas to deliver a truly innovative treatment plan for better patient care. Our aortic experts meet after each patient evaluation to formulate the best comprehensive plan, which could include an intervention, surgery and/or medical approach. Here are some things we want our patients to know about our aortic disease program:

  • Our mortality rates are among the lowest in the country, even after factoring in the high volume of complex cases we handle.
  • Our program is in the top 5 nationally in terms of the number of patients we have treated for ascending aortic disease (aortic root with arch aneurysms) based on Medicare data.
  • We have close to two decades of experience with fenestrated grafting (a stent that helps with blood flow).
  • Our surgeons maintain one of the largest practices in North America for patients with aortic disease. And we have the largest regional experience with cutting-edge procedures to treat this disease.

More Options, More Experience in Heart Valve Implants

We were the first program in the state of Michigan to offer both available options for aortic valve replacement for patients who are not good candidates for open-heart surgery: the Edwards SAPIEN Heart Valve, approved by the FDA in November 2011, and two Medtronic CoreValve® trials, including the newer SURTAVI trial. We are one of the first heart centers in the United States to enroll patients in the SURTAVI trial, which is for aortic stenosis patients who are at intermediate risk to undergo open-heart surgery. In addition, we have performed the most heart valve implants in Michigan and are among the top programs in the country in terms of our aortic valve experience.

Cutting-Edge Treatment and Research

In addition to providing the best treatment possible, we are also forging the way for new and improved treatment options for aortic disease. The University of Michigan is home to the International Registry of Aortic Dissection (IRAD), multiple research laboratories and clinical trials. Through research, we are working to understand how this disease occurs so we can focus our efforts on early detection and intervention.

Turning Research Into Action Against Aortic Disease

  • The University of Michigan is one of about 10 programs in the country with a National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded basic science research lab focused on aortic disease.
  • Involved in complex aortic endovascular clinical trials as well as basic research to understand how aneurysms occur so that we can find ways to prevent and medically manage this disease.
  • Through IRAD, www.iradonline.org, the University of Michigan houses and manages the International Registry of Aortic Dissection to help us understand more about this aspect of aortic disease. Experts review the registry data and look for trends in this disease process.
  • The University of Michigan has recently established a Bicuspid Aortic Valve registry and is looking at patients with this congenital disease to identify its long-term effects.

Make an Appointment

To make an appointment to discuss your need for aortic treatment, contact us toll-free at 888-287-1082 or email us at CVCCallCtr@med.umich.edu.