Thoracic aortic aneurysm care at Mayo Clinic

Mayo Clinic cardiovascular specialists and surgeons have more than 50 years of experience evaluating and treating children and adults with thoracic aortic aneurysms. Each year, more than 2,900 patients with this condition choose the whole-person care provided by Mayo Clinic's multidisciplinary team of experts.

Mayo Clinic care and treatments include:

  • Medical monitoring. Certain kinds of aneurysms or small aneurysms that don't require surgery may be checked at regular intervals in the event they change or enlarge.
  • Aneurysm surgery. This technique is done to correct or remove an aneurysm that is dangerously large or one that has ruptured.

Depending on the size and growth rate of your thoracic aortic aneurysm, treatment may vary from watchful waiting to emergency surgery. Ideally, surgery for a thoracic aortic aneurysm can be planned if necessary.

Your Mayo Clinic care team

At Mayo Clinic, patient care is a collaborative effort among a variety of specialists. Each Mayo Clinic campus offers a vascular center staffed by trained doctors and nurses experienced in treating vascular diseases. Your doctors collaborate with multidisciplinary experts in genetic testing, echocardiography, vascular imaging (including CT and MR angiograms) and surgery to determine whether and what type of surgery is appropriate for your condition.

This means that you're not getting just one opinion — you benefit from the knowledge and experience of each specialist on the multidisciplinary team. These team members work together to provide you with whole-person care and to develop a lifelong management plan individualized to your condition and medical needs.

Close collaboration enables the team to have your test results available quickly and to coordinate scheduling your appointments. Evaluation and treatment can typically be done in a matter of days at Mayo Clinic.

If you have an inherited form of aortic aneurysm, such as Marfan syndrome or another condition that involves parts of your body in addition to the aorta, Mayo Clinic cardiovascular doctors collaborate with specialists such as spine and eye doctors. Sometimes patients have characteristics that suggest Marfan syndrome, but they actually have a related disorder such as Loeys-Dietz syndrome.

Thoracic aortic aneurysm patients at Mayo Clinic benefit from:

  • The latest diagnostic tools. At Mayo Clinic, imaging and other tests are evaluated by experienced cardiac specialists who are experts at interpreting and synthesizing the results.
  • Expert thoracic surgery. Mayo Clinic's thoracic surgeons are very experienced in repairing thoracic aortic aneurysms. Mayo Clinic surgeons perform more than 200 thoracic aortic aneurysm repairs per year, and surgeons have performed more than 2,600 aneurysm repairs since 2000.
  • Treatment by a multidisciplinary team of experts. Vascular radiologists, surgeons, cardiologists, medical geneticists and other specialists on the treatment team converse with each other regularly on the care and condition of each patient.

With the goal of gaining new knowledge and improving the reliability, comfort and cost of care for thoracic aneurysms, Mayo Clinic doctors stay up to date with new diagnostic and treatment options and test them through clinical trials. Mayo Clinic physicians share the results with patients and with the medical community, advancing the science of aneurysm diagnosis and care.

Advanced diagnosis and treatment

Mayo Clinic maintains state-of-the-art laboratory and imaging facilities. The thoracic specialists use this advanced technology and sophisticated imaging equipment to obtain detailed information and images from which they can make an accurate, specific diagnosis.

At Mayo Clinic's campus in Rochester, Minnesota, CT scans and other imaging are performed and interpreted by radiologists who specialize in vascular conditions, evaluating more than 9,500 patients in 2014. Additionally, heart ultrasounds (echocardiograms) are performed by cardiologists who are experts in echocardiography. With their concentration on thoracic aortic imaging, Mayo Clinic specialists produce accurate, high-quality readings.

Nationally recognized expertise

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

  • Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., is ranked among the Best Hospitals for heart and heart surgery by U.S. News & World Report.
  • Mayo Clinic Children's Center in Rochester, Minn., is ranked among the Best Children's Hospitals for heart and heart surgery by U.S. News & World Report.
  • Mayo Clinic in Phoenix/Scottsdale, Ariz., and Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla., are ranked among the Best Hospitals for heart and heart surgery by U.S. News & World Report.

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.

Expertise and rankings

  • Experience. 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 medical specialists have experience evaluating and treating thoracic aortic aneurysms and other types of aneurysms.
  • Team approach. Doctors at Mayo Clinic trained in many areas work together as a multidisciplinary team to evaluate and treat your condition.
  • Diagnostic tools. Mayo Clinic doctors use the most current imaging tests available to accurately diagnose thoracic aortic aneurysms and determine your treatment. Tests may include echocardiography, computerized tomography (CT) angiogram, magnetic resonance angiogram (MRA) and other tests. Genetic specialists may order genetic tests.
  • Treatment expertise. Doctors at Mayo have expertise and experience in treating thoracic aortic aneurysms using the most current 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. Doctors also have training and expertise treating Marfan syndrome and related conditions in the Marfan Syndrome Clinic.

    Doctors at Mayo Clinic's campus in Minnesota also have experience treating children with heart conditions (pediatric cardiologists).

  • Individualized care. Doctors at Mayo evaluate your condition and determine the most appropriate care for you.
  • Vascular centers. Each Mayo Clinic location offers a vascular center staffed by trained doctors and nurses 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.
  • Research. Mayo doctors study potential diagnostic tests and treatments for thoracic aortic aneurysms and other vascular conditions, and may 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.

Learn more about Mayo Clinic's cardiac surgery and cardiovascular diseases 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.