Complex Aortic Surgery Program Outcomes

Contact Information
(608) 263-8915
(608) 263-0439
Years of experience have brought solid, impressive results for UW Health's Complex Aortic Surgery Program. Our surgeons perform more than 125 complex aortic operations each year.
Over the past two decades, our surgeons have introduced and incorporated advances in medical technology to reduce the risk of paralysis and death often associated with complex aortic surgery by 80 percent.
For patients who undergo planned surgery, the chance of death is usually less than five percent. The risk of death is always lower for patients who undergo a planned procedure rather than an emergency operation.
Patients with aortic aneurysm disease often feel fear associated with their condition, particularly because the disease is silent - symptoms such as back, groin, abdominal and testicular pain are often indistinct. In fact, surgeons estimate that 20 percent of aortic aneurysm rupture before being discovered. Patients with thoracic aortic disease often have other forms of carotid coronary and vascular disease as well.
Expert Care, Expert Results
Using abdominal ultrasound techniques, X-rays and state-of-the-art magnetic resonance imaging equipment, UW Health radiologists are able to capture incredibly detailed 3-D images of the aorta, allowing team members to pinpoint both the size and location of the aneurysm.
Those patients whose aneurysms are larger than 5.5 centimeters are evaluated for surgical risk, and after correction of any significant cardiac and vascular risk factors are advised about options and treatment risk before the appropriate treatment is carried out.
If necessary, these patients can be immediately scheduled for treatment. This careful approach has resulted in superior outcomes and survival for these complex patients. Patients with smaller aneurysms can be carefully tracked over time.