About This Procedure

Aortic arch surgery is technically challenging. To protect the brain during this surgery, physicians at the Thoracic Aortic Center use a special graft with branches already sewn in place, cool the body down (hypothermic circulatory arrest) and supply oxygen-rich blood to the brain using a process called antegrade cerebral perfusion. Using these techniques, we have found that our patients have a low risk of mortality (death) or stroke.


Patient referrals can be made to the Thoracic Aortic Center at 617-724-4747 or directly to any of the participating physicians. Coverage is available 24 hours per day, seven days per week to receive emergency referrals from any regional physician or emergency department if an acute syndrome related to the thoracic aorta is suspected. A phone call to the Thoracic Aortic Center will set in motion the assembly of a team for emergency evaluation and management of the patient.

Outpatient referrals of patients with thoracic aortic aneurysms will result in multidisciplinary evaluation by appropriate physicians from cardiology, vascular radiology, cardiac and vascular surgery. Patients can be seen by multiple physicians on the same day, and the appointments are made with a single phone call to the Thoracic Aortic Center number.

Evaluation will result in a recommendation for either intervention or follow-up. Follow-up for the aortic problem will be arranged at the Center. General cardiac and pulmonary evaluation may also be done.