Aortic Aneurysm and Aortic Disease

Aortic Aneurysm and Aortic Disease

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Cardiologists and surgeons in Duke’s nationally ranked heart center evaluate and treat the serious conditions that can affect your aorta -- the large artery that distributes blood from your heart to the rest of your body. If you need surgery, our experienced surgeons use new, less-invasive approaches to rebuild and repair the artery. We minimize your risk of further damage due to aortic disease.

Our Doctors

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Advanced Treatment for Aortic Disease

Our nationally ranked heart center prevents and corrects the silent, sometimes fatal, conditions that can affect your aorta, including:

  • Aneurysm -- when the aorta weakens, enlarges, or ruptures
  • Aortic dissection -- when the aorta splits

We also provide extensive monitoring, treatment, and novel surgical approaches to people born with congenital defects, including Loeys-Dietz Syndrome and Marfan Syndrome, which raise your risk for aortic aneurysm and aortic dissection.

We use advanced imaging technology to identify your specific aortic disease, and monitor your condition so we know when to intervene. 

Our Locations

Duke Health offers locations throughout the Triangle. Find one near you.

Treatments

Watchful Waiting

If your aneurysm is small and does not need immediate treatment, we will monitor changes every six to 12 months using imaging scans. This lets us continually evaluate the risks and benefits of medical or surgical intervention.

Medication

Statins, antihypertensive drugs, and beta blockers may help slow aneurysm growth and prevent complications. 

Endovascular Stent Graft

When aortic repair is needed, we use a minimally invasive approach that involves inserting a catheter into your vein or aorta through a small incision in your groin. A fabric tube supported by metal mesh, called a stent graft, is strategically placed to reinforce weak spots and prevent an aortic rupture or aneurysm. You experience less blood loss and pain, avoid the risk of open-heart surgery, leave the hospital sooner, and recover faster.

Hybrid Surgery to Repair the Aorta

When appropriate, we combine open-heart surgery with minimally invasive endovascular techniques to repair the aorta. This alternative is valuable for older or high-risk patients who aren't eligible for open-heart surgery. It also reduces the risks associated with open heart surgeries and shortens recovery times.

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Tests and Screening

We focus on screening patients to detect problems early, when intervention has the best chance of preventing more serious issues.

Genetic Heart Disease Screening

We are one of the few centers in the Southeast to offer genetic screening for congenital heart diseases like Marfan, Ehlers-Danlos, and Loeys-Dietz syndromes. We determine the best management and treatment approach for you and your family.

Advanced Imaging

We use the latest advances in imaging techniques -- including CT, MRI, and ultrasound -- to create high-resolution images that help identify if you are at risk for aortic disease and to watch for changes that may occur following an aortic repair.

Why Choose Duke

Choose Duke Heart Center for your aortic disease treatment because we offer:

Top-Ranked Care
U.S. News and World Report ranks Duke Heart Center among the best in the nation, based on our patients’ survival rates, the number of procedures we perform, and the quality of our support services.

Excellent Patient Outcomes
We do a large number of complex surgeries to repair aortas — more than most U.S. centers — and use advanced monitoring of the central nervous system to protect your spinal cord during surgery. As a result, our surgical complication rates for complex aortic procedures, including risk of infection and re-hospitalization, are lower than the national average.

Simpler, Safer Treatments
Whenever possible, we avoid open-heart surgery and use less invasive techniques to access and repair the aorta. When needed, we can combine these techniques with traditional open heart surgery to give high-risk patients more options.

Novel Surgical Techniques for Rare Genetic Conditions
We developed novel surgical approaches to manage the risk of aortic dissection in patients with Loeys-Dietz Syndrome, a rare genetic condition that greatly increases the risk of an aortic aneurysm.

Long-Term Follow-Up
Our medical team provides ongoing management of your aortic disease to ensure you live the best life possible. Our cardiac rehabilitation program will assess your individual needs, and develop a comprehensive follow-up plan that may include exercise and nutrition counseling, as well as cholesterol and blood pressure management.

Genetic Screening and Counseling
Our genetic heart disease program offers genetic testing and counseling to patients who have a family history or have been diagnosed with an inherited heart condition including aneurysms and congenital heart defects.

Best Heart Hospital in NC

When it comes to your care, you want the very best. Duke University Hospital's nationally ranked cardiology and heart surgery program is the best in North Carolina.