Comprehensive Aortic Program

When you choose the Comprehensive Aortic Program at the University of Michigan Health Frankel Cardiovascular Center, you’ll find a world-class level of experience and expertise. As leaders in the field of aortic disease, our surgeons are at the forefront of developing new surgical techniques.

The Comprehensive Aortic Program is the busiest in the state and among the largest in the U.S. We are a premier center for the care of patients with complex aortic diseases.

Our surgeons perform over 1,200 aortic and aortic valve procedures each year. This high volume of innovative treatments translates to better outcomes and longer, healthier lives for our patients.


A recently launched donor-funded initiative called MI-AORTA supports the enhanced growth of our current aortic disease clinical practice, training, and research with the goal of transforming our highly regarded aortic program into a world-renowned entity.

This intiative facilitates collaboration within our current systems, creates value for the patients, families and communities we serve and allows us to continue to pioneer advanced therapies for aortic disease.

Aortic Care at the Frankel Cardiovascular Center

Our Comprehensive Aortic Program offers:

  • Extensive experience: Because our surgical teams do so many procedures, they have more experience, which leads to better patient care and excellent outcomes. Read about our outstanding aortic disease outcomes.
  • Highly advanced procedures: Our surgeons developed and perform some of the most complex and novel aortic procedures available today. They also train surgeons from other facilities. Because of this expertise, we often see patients who don’t have options elsewhere.
  • Access to clinical trials: We participate in FDA-sponsored clinical trials for medical devices. We also take part in research funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Clinical trials offer patients access to new devices and treatment options before they are available to the public. Learn more about clinical trials you may be eligible for.
  • Genetic counseling: Aortic diseases can run in families or occur because of an inherited syndrome. We offer genetic counseling to help patients and their families understand their risk. Early identification and treatment are critical to prevent life-threatening complications. 
  • Innovation in aortic research: Our world-renowned researchers advance the science of aortic disease. We’re studying how these diseases progress and searching for the root causes. We’re also learning how to grow biological tissues in the lab for use in aortic repairs. Our discoveries impact patients of all ages. And because aortic diseases can be inherited, today’s innovations will benefit our patients’ children and grandchildren.

Personalized and Coordinated Care

Though we are part of one of the largest health systems in Michigan, our care feels personal. Our nurse care coordinators provide a single point of contact for patients. Since we monitor many of our patients for the rest of their life, nurturing relationships is a top priority.

At the Frankel Cardiovascular Center, your aortic disease care team may involve experts from different subspecialties, including:

  • Cardiologists
  • Cardiac and vascular surgeons
  • Radiologists and imaging specialists
  • Nurse practitioners and physician assistants
  • Specialized cardiovascular nurses
  • Surgical team members including anesthesiologists and perfusionists
  • Geneticists

Our care coordinators help you understand your condition and treatments. They communicate with the multidisciplinary team involved in your care and answer your questions.

The Frankel Cardiovascular Center is a state-of-the-art facility designed for healing. It houses nearly all the specialists and services you’ll need under one roof. This makes it convenient for you to see our care team for appointments, tests and procedures.

Types of Aortic Conditions

We specialize in treating all conditions of the aorta and aortic valve. The most common aortic conditions are aneurysms and dissections, in which the aortic wall bulges or tears.

Conditions that affect the aortic valve include regurgitation (the valve leaks) and stenosis (the valve becomes narrow). An aneurysm or dissection that occurs near the heart can also damage the aortic valve. Find out more about the aortic conditions we treat.

Treatments for Aortic Disease

Our physicians work with you to create a tailored treatment plan. In some cases, the best treatment approach may be medications or lifestyle changes, along with close monitoring.

If you need a higher level of intervention, our skilled specialists offer customized treatment plans that may include minimally invasive treatments, open surgery, or both. Learn more about aortic disease treatments and procedures.

Make an Appointment

To schedule an evaluation with a Frankel Cardiovascular Center physician, call 888-287-1082. Or visit the Make a Cardiovascular Appointment page to learn what to expect when you call us.

Physicians: To refer a patient, call M-Line at 800-962-3555.