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About this Procedure

When patients need surgical repair of the aortic root together with replacement of the aortic valve, physicians at the Thoracic Aortic Center perform a composite aortic root replacement, in which an artificial valve is pre-mounted on an artificial fabric tube graft and used to replace the aorta.

Physicians use both mechanical and tissue valves in these operations. For patients who cannot take blood thinners or are past the age of 65, tissue valves (pig or cow) are preferred because there is no need for lifelong blood thinning medication.

Patient Referrals

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.