Complex Aortic Surgery Program

Contact Information
(608) 263-8915
(608) 263-0439
Internet Resources
The UW Health Complex Aortic Surgery Program in Madison, Wisconsin, monitors and treats complex diseases of the entire aorta. This includes:
  • The aorta in the chest (thoracic aorta)
  • The aorta in the abdomen (abdominal aorta)
  • And the vessels that feed blood to the brain and all other organs

The aorta is the largest artery in the body. It supplies oxygen-rich blood from the heart to the rest of the body. When the aorta is diseased, all other organ systems are put at risk.


Left untreated, a diseased aorta can burst or tear, which can be fatal. It's estimated that about 15,000 people die each year from an aortic aneurysm or dissection. Because of this, skilled surveillance and appropriate surgical management of aortic disease are absolutely critical.


Our multidisciplinary program offers patients all of the currently available techniques to treat aortic disease. Our expert cardiothoracic and vascular surgeons perform more than 125 complex aortic surgeries each year. Depending on the type and location of aortic disease, we provide open and minimally invasive surgical procedures.


We are proud to be the premier medical center in the Midwest for the evaluation, diagnosis and treatment of all types of complex aortic disorders.


Aortic Disease Information

Monitoring and Treatment
At UW Health, treatment for complex aortic disease must be tailored to the individual patient, who benefits from access to a wide variety of expert cardiac and vascular surgeons, cardiologists and anesthesiologists, as well as imaging radiologists and ICU intensivists.
UW Health patients have access to the very latest in treatment and repair options, as well as the expertise to apply the appropriate technology to the appropriate patient.
If you have aortic disease but don't yet require surgery, or if you are at risk for aortic disease, our program offers preoperative monitoring for at-risk patients.
For those requiring surgical treatment, options will depend on your anatomy and the location and seriousness of your aortic disease. Options include: 
It is also possible for surgeons to treat different parts of the aorta with different techniques or "hybrid procedures." For example, you may undergo open repair on one section of the aorta, and minimally invasive repair on another section. These procedures would be performed at different times, the more urgent repair usually happening first.
Recovery and Outcomes