Aortic root surgery is a complex surgical procedure to treat a dilation or enlargement (aortic aneurysm) of a section of the large blood vessel that carries blood from your heart to your vital organs (aorta). The aortic root is located near the junction of your aorta and your heart.

Doctors perform aortic root surgery to prevent an aneurysm rupture or a tear in the inner layer of the wall of the dilated aorta (aortic dissection), and to prevent the dilated aorta from stretching the attached aortic valve.

Aortic aneurysms near the aortic root may be associated with Marfan syndrome and other heart conditions.

  • Expertise and experience. Mayo Clinic doctors trained in heart and blood vessel surgery (cardiovascular surgeons) have expertise evaluating and treating all aortic conditions. Surgeons have extensive experience performing complex procedures such as aortic root surgery, including aortic root replacement and valve-sparing aortic root repair.

    Mayo surgeons perform more than 100 aortic root surgeries each year.

  • Team approach. Mayo Clinic cardiovascular surgeons work as a multidisciplinary team with doctors trained in heart diseases (cardiologists) and others to provide you with coordinated care.
  • Diagnostic tools. Mayo Clinic doctors use detailed imaging tests to diagnose aortic aneurysms, test for tears in the inner layer of the aortic wall (aortic dissection) and determine the most appropriate treatment for your condition.
  • Research. Mayo Clinic doctors conduct research in potential techniques for aortic root surgery and other cardiovascular surgeries and conduct clinical trials.

Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., is ranked among the Best Hospitals for heart and heart surgery by U.S. News & World Report. Mayo Clinic also ranks among the Best Children's Hospitals for heart and heart surgery.

At Mayo Clinic, we assemble a team of specialists who take the time to listen and thoroughly understand your health issues and concerns. We tailor the care you receive to your personal health care needs. You can trust our specialists to collaborate and offer you the best possible outcomes, safety and service.

Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit medical institution that reinvests all earnings into improving medical practice, research and education. We're constantly involved in innovation and medical research, finding solutions to improve your care and quality of life. Your doctor or someone on your medical team is likely involved in research related to your condition.

Our patients tell us that the quality of their interactions, our attention to detail and the efficiency of their visits mean health care — and trusted answers — like they've never experienced.

Why Choose Mayo Clinic

What Sets Mayo Clinic Apart

Mayo Clinic surgeons have experience performing aortic root surgery, a complex surgical procedure.

Mayo cardiac surgeons perform several types of aortic root surgery, including:

  • Aortic root replacement. In aortic root replacement, your surgeon removes a section of your aorta and your aortic valve. The section of your aorta is replaced with an artificial tube (graft), and your aortic valve is replaced with a mechanical or biological valve.

    If you have a mechanical valve, you'll need to take anticoagulant medications for life to prevent blood clots.

  • Valve-sparing aortic root repair. In this procedure, your surgeon replaces the enlarged section of your aorta with an artificial tube (graft). Your aortic valve remains in place. In one technique, your surgeon sutures the valve inside of the graft. Alternatively, your surgeon may attach the graft to a section of the aorta above the aortic valve. Several surgical techniques exist for valve-sparing aortic root repair.

If you have certain other heart conditions, your surgeon may perform additional procedures to treat these conditions at the same time as aortic root surgery.

Your doctor will discuss with you the most appropriate treatment or surgery for your individual condition and discuss the benefits and risks of surgery. Your doctor will evaluate your risk of aortic dissection and measure the diameter of your aorta when deciding if you are a candidate for surgery.

Mayo Clinic works with hundreds of insurance companies and is an in-network provider for millions of people. In most cases, Mayo Clinic doesn't require a physician referral. Some insurers require referrals or may have additional requirements for certain medical care. All appointments are prioritized on the basis of medical need.

Doctors trained in cardiothoracic surgery treat people who have aortic root surgery at Mayo Clinic's campus in Arizona.

For appointments or more information, call the Central Appointment Office at 800-446-2279 (toll-free) 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mountain Standard Time, Monday through Friday or complete an online appointment request form.

Doctors trained in cardiothoracic surgery treat people who have aortic root surgery at Mayo Clinic's campus in Florida.

For appointments or more information, call the Central Appointment Office at 904-953-0853 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern time, Monday through Friday or complete an online appointment request form.

Doctors trained in cardiovascular surgery treat people who have aortic root surgery at Mayo Clinic's campus in Minnesota.

For appointments or more information, call the Division of Cardiovascular Diseases at 507-284-3994 or the Division of Cardiovascular Surgery at 507-255-2000 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Central time, Monday through Friday or complete an online appointment request form.

Doctors trained in pediatric cardiology and cardiovascular surgery treat children who have aortic root surgery at Mayo Clinic's campus in Minnesota. Children needing hospitalization receive care at Mayo Eugenio Litta Children's Hospital at Mayo Clinic's campus in Minnesota.

For appointments or more information, call the Central Appointment Office at 507-538-3270 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Central time, Monday through Friday or complete an online appointment request form.

See information on patient services at the three Mayo Clinic locations, including transportation options and lodging.

Mayo Clinic doctors trained in heart and blood vessel surgery (cardiovascular surgeons) study potential techniques for aortic root surgery and other cardiovascular procedures. Read more about research in the Cardiovascular Research Center.

See a list of publications by Mayo Clinic doctors on aortic root surgery on PubMed, a service of the National Library of Medicine.

Dec. 06, 2014