Thoracic aortic aneurysm care at Mayo Clinic

Your Mayo Clinic care team

A team works together to evaluate and treat people at Mayo Clinic. A team at Mayo Clinic

A team works together to evaluate and treat people at Mayo Clinic.

Mayo Clinic doctors trained in blood vessel conditions (vascular specialists), blood vessel surgery (vascular surgeons), heart and blood vessel surgery (cardiovascular surgeons), chest surgery (thoracic surgeons), heart and blood vessel conditions (cardiologists), imaging (radiologists), and other care providers have experience evaluating and treating thoracic aortic aneurysms and other types of aortic aneurysms.

Collaborative approach

Mayo Clinic doctors and other care providers work together to provide you with whole-person care. This collaborative approach means health care providers can often evaluate you and develop a treatment plan within 2 to 3 days.

Your care providers will help you develop a lifelong, individualized management plan specific to your condition and medical needs. At Mayo Clinic, you're not getting just one opinion — you benefit from the knowledge and experience of each specialist on the multidisciplinary team.

For example, if an aneurysm is caused by a genetic condition such as Marfan syndrome, Mayo Clinic cardiovascular doctors collaborate with other care providers such as spine and eye doctors.

Advanced diagnosis and treatment

At Mayo Clinic, experienced care providers evaluate and interpret test results. Mayo Clinic maintains state-of-the-art laboratory and imaging facilities. Care providers at Mayo use this advanced technology and sophisticated imaging equipment to accurately diagnose thoracic and abdominal aortic aneurysms and determine the type of surgery needed, if any.

Test to diagnose aortic aneurysms may include echocardiography, computerized tomography (CT) angiography, magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) and others. Genetic testing may be recommended if you have a family history of aneurysms or aneurysm rupture.

Expertise and rankings

Mayo Clinic cardiovascular surgeons and other care providers are experienced in evaluating and treating adults and children with thoracic aortic aneurysms. Each year, more than 6,000 people with thoracic aortic aneurysm are evaluated and treated at Mayo Clinic.

Mayo Clinic's thoracic surgeons are experienced in repairing thoracic aortic aneurysms.

  • Surgeons have expertise and experience in treating thoracic aortic aneurysms using endovascular surgery, open-chest surgery, aortic root surgery and other treatment options. Mayo doctors have experience performing surgery to treat a thoracic aortic aneurysm located anywhere in the thoracic aorta.
  • People with Marfan syndrome and related conditions may be treated by health care providers experienced in treating Marfan syndrome and related conditions in the Marfan Syndrome and Thoracic Aorta Clinic.
  • Children with heart conditions may be treated by doctors trained in treating children with heart conditions (pediatric cardiologists) at Mayo Clinic's campus in Minnesota.
  • Each Mayo Clinic location offers a vascular center staffed by trained care providers who have experience treating vascular diseases. Vascular centers include the Gonda Vascular Center at Mayo Clinic's campus in Minnesota and vascular centers at Mayo Clinic's campuses in Arizona and Florida.

Nationally recognized expertise

Mayo Clinic campuses are nationally recognized for expertise in cardiology and cardiovascular surgery:

  • Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, Mayo Clinic in Phoenix/Scottsdale, Arizona, and Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida, are ranked among the Best Hospitals for heart and heart surgery by U.S. News & World Report.
  • Mayo Clinic Children's Center in Rochester is ranked the No. 1 hospital in Minnesota, and the five-state region of Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin, according to U.S. News & World Report's 2023-2024 "Best Children's Hospitals" rankings.

With Mayo Clinic's emphasis on collaborative care, specialists at each of the campuses — Minnesota, Arizona and Florida — interact very closely with colleagues at the other campuses and the Mayo Clinic Health System.

[Music playing]

Ivy Jones, Mayo Clinic patient: I'm a first-time mom. My pregnancy was so smooth. It was so healthy. And then I passed out when I was six months pregnant with Neecy. So they had to call the ambulance and then-- that's the only part I remember.

Alberto Pochettino, M.D., Cardiovascular Surgeon: I got a phone call, and it was a patient coming from North Dakota who presented with low blood pressure, hypotension, shock while pregnant, and she had a history of Marfan syndrome. Marfan syndrome is a syndrome where all of the aorta is abnormal and she was found, on X-ray and CT scan, to have a rupture of her descending thoracic aorta. There were really no other local hospitals that felt comfortable handling the situation. Mayo Clinic provided immediate access to high-risk obstetrician, to very competent cardiology who have a focus on aortic disease, and to surgeons like myself whose life has been spent dealing with aortic disease. She was flown in directly to us, in fact, directly to the operating room. The first surgery was to stop the bleeding, essentially was a temporary solution to somebody who was bleeding to death, and that was achieved by putting a stent graft.

Ivy Jones I survived. It was a miracle.

Dr. Pochettino: The next issue was what are we going to do next? We came up with a plan where we would allow the mother to continue her pregnancy for a period of a few weeks to get to a more mature baby, allow her to deliver the baby under close observation, and at that point, we could then bring her back to the operating room, take the stent graft out, and replace the aorta in a more definitive fashion. So we came up with something that was appropriate both for the baby's health as well as preventing any trouble for the mother.

Ivy Jones: Last week, when Neecy turned one, it was so unbelievable. I couldn't believe that it's been a year already. It feels like it was just yesterday.

Dr. Pochettino: The fact that we were able to provide immediate attention and then continue that attention over the next few weeks until we could definitively fix her problem was critical. To find that place that has so many competent individuals in such different specialties is unique.

Ivy Jones: I don't have enough words to describe the care they gave to me. I feel so grateful to them.

[Music playing]

Learn more about Mayo Clinic's cardiovascular surgery and cardiovascular medicine departments' expertise and rankings.

Locations, travel and lodging

Mayo Clinic has major campuses in Phoenix and Scottsdale, Arizona; Jacksonville, Florida; and Rochester, Minnesota. The Mayo Clinic Health System has dozens of locations in several states.

For more information on visiting Mayo Clinic, choose your location below:

Costs and insurance

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.

Learn more about appointments at Mayo Clinic.

Please contact your insurance company to verify medical coverage and to obtain any needed authorization prior to your visit. Often, your insurer's customer service number is printed on the back of your insurance card.

More information about billing and insurance:

Mayo Clinic in Arizona, Florida and Minnesota

Mayo Clinic Health System

April 25, 2023