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If you or a loved one has an aortic aneurysm or another condition affecting your aorta, it’s important to get timely treatment to prevent life-threatening complications – and it’s critical to get care from an expert team with deep experience.

At Atrium Health Sanger Heart & Vascular Institute’s Aortic Center, we lead the nation in treating patients with complex aortic disease. We’re recognized by U.S. News & World Report as a high-performing hospital for aortic valve surgery and abdominal aortic aneurysm repair, placing us in the top 10% of hospitals in the country for these procedures. 

With our team of renowned cardiovascular specialists by your side, you have the best chance of a good outcome.

For educational information about aortic disease, visit our FAQ section.

Why choose Sanger for aortic disease care?

  • Nationally recognized care
    According to U.S. News & World Report, Sanger is the region’s top-rated heart and cardiovascular program, receiving high-performing recognition for aortic valve surgery and abdominal aortic aneurysm repair.
  • Minimally invasive therapies
    Our skilled surgeons perform catheter-based procedures using stent grafts to repair aortic aneurysms and dissections, providing an opportunity for successful treatment to those who are considered too high risk for traditional open surgery. 
  • Advanced genetic testing
    We work with Sanger’s Marfan Syndrome and Genetic Aortopathy Clinic, nationally recognized by the Marfan Foundation, to offer advanced genetic testing. This can help guide treatment decisions and identify at-risk family members for early screening.
  • Robust emergency protocols
    Our Aortic Center is only 1 of only 2 centers in NC with special treatment protocols for aortic dissections and ruptures. In emergency situations, we deliver fast, lifesaving treatment that can make all the difference when every second counts.
  • Innovative clinical trials
    We’re breaking new ground in aortic disease treatment through our clinical trials, including leading-edge open procedures and minimally invasive endovascular repair techniques for thoracic and abdominal aortic aneurysms.
  • Seamless care through our new cardiology aortic clinic
    Our cardiothoracic surgeons, vascular surgeons, cardiologists, geneticists and imagers take a team approach to care. The cardiology clinic within our Aortic Center offers patients monitoring and long-term follow-up care.

Team approach 

By working closely together, our team of experts provides comprehensive care and timely treatment to prevent life-threatening complications caused by aortic disease.

Our team includes: 

  • Advanced practice providers
  • Cardiac imagers
  • Cardiologists
  • Cardiothoracic surgeons
  • Geneticists
  • Nurse navigators
  • Vascular surgeons

What to expect from your appointment

It’s critical to treat aortic disease early to prevent serious emergencies like aortic tears and ruptures. The unique nature of your condition will determine the best treatment plan for you. Our specialized surgeons carefully evaluate your aneurysm or condition to determine when it’s best to move forward with treatment, and when it’s best to wait.

From diagnosis and monitoring to treatment and follow-up, we oversee every aspect of your care. Here's what you can expect before, during and after your first appointment.

Before your appointment:

Please ask your provider to send us your medical records, including your medical history, test results and images (such as an echocardiogram, chest X-ray or CT scan). Please send records by fax to 704-372-1249. 

During your appointment:

You’ll meet with one of our experts, such as a specialized cardiologist, cardiothoracic surgeon or vascular surgeon, who will review your records and medical history, do a physical exam, discuss your test results, and provide you with a comprehensive assessment, including a personalized care plan. 

After your appointment:

Depending on your specific condition, you may be scheduled for a procedure or a follow-up appointment with additional testing. Your nurse will reach out to you with specific instructions.  

Conditions treated

We treat conditions affecting any part of your aorta and specialize in:

  • Aortic aneurysms, including thoracic aortic aneurysms that occur in the part of the aorta that runs through your chest, and abdominal aortic aneurysms that affect the section of the aorta that runs through your midsection. Aortic aneurysms happen when a section of the aorta – your body’s largest blood vessel – weakens and bulges out. This weakened section is at risk of tearing (aortic dissection) or bursting (aortic rupture), which can lead to life-threatening complications, such as internal bleeding or blocking the blood flow to important parts of your body. Finding and treating an aortic aneurysm early lowers your chances of an aortic tear or rupture.
  • Aortic dissection, a tear in the inner layer of your aorta. When blood gets behind the tear, it further separates the aorta’s inner and middle layers, increasing the chances of blocked blood flow, aortic rupture or other complications. 
  • Aortic rupture, a breaking or bursting of the aorta. This can cause extensive, life-threatening internal bleeding.
  • Aortic coarctation, a narrowing of the aorta that causes your heart to work harder to pump blood through the narrowed section. Aortic coarctation is usually something you’re born with, and it can range from mild (slightly narrow) to severe (very narrow).
  • Genetic conditions that increase the risk for aortic disease. These include:
    • Bicuspid aortic valve disease
    • Marfan syndrome
    • Loeys-Dietz syndrome
    • Ehlers-Danlos syndrome
    • Turner syndrome

Aortic disease treatments

Our primary goal is to repair your aortic condition before it leads to emergency complications. Most of the time, we can do this with minimally invasive techniques that allow you to avoid open chest or abdominal surgery. 

Aneurysm treatment options include:

  • TEVAR, thoracic endovascular aortic repair, which uses a catheter to place a stent (tube) within the thoracic (chest) section of the aorta and seal the aneurysm off from the inside. As a top-5 center for national TEVAR volumes, we offer unmatched expertise.
  • EVAR, endovascular aortic repair, which uses a catheter to place a stent (tube) within the abdominal section of the aorta and seal the aneurysm off from the inside. We do more EVAR procedures than any center in the country, meaning more experience and better outcomes for you.
  • Open-heart surgery to repair aneurysms when minimally invasive approaches aren’t an option.
  • Emergency repair of aortic dissection or rupture through Code Dissection and Code Rupture, which are award-winning care protocols that deliver fast, lifesaving treatment.
  • Clinical trials that give you access to minimally invasive repair techniques that aren’t widely available elsewhere.

For other aortic diseases:

  • Aortic root replacement, which removes the diseased portion of the aortic root and reconstructs it using a custom-designed synthetic conduit (tube). Your heart’s aortic valve may remain or it can be replaced with a prosthetic valve if needed.
  • Ascending aortic replacement, which removes the diseased section of the ascending aorta and reconstructs it with a custom-designed synthetic conduit. If the aortic root or aortic arch also needs replacing or reconstructing, this can be done at the same time.
  • Aortic arch reconstruction or replacement, which removes the diseased section of the aortic arch and reconstructs it with a custom-designed synthetic conduit. Our team has deep experience in the complicated circulation management the procedure requires.
  • Aortic coarctation repair, which removes the narrowed portion of the aorta and replaces it with an open synthetic conduit. Treatment is delivered either through open surgery or through a catheter inserted through the groin artery and ballooned open to relieve the obstruction.

Research and publications

Clinical trials 

We conduct a variety of clinical trials to bring you the latest treatment options – which often aren’t available anywhere else in NC. For instance, we’re 1 of only 2 locations in the country offering the Valiant Mona LSA clinical trial. 

Our latest clinical trials include:

  • Valiant Mona LSA: The device is being used to treat aneurysms in the descending thoracic aorta of patients who need to have their left subclavian artery (LSA) covered
  • GORE-TAG: The GORE® TAG® thoracic branch endoprosthesis is being used to treat aortic arch and descending thoracic aorta lesions
  • TAMBE AAA: The GORE EXCLUDER® thoracoabdominal branch endoprosthesis is being used to treat thoracoabdominal and pararenal aortic aneurysms  
  • TRIOMPHE: The NEXUS™ aortic arch stent graft system is being used to treat thoracic aortic lesions involving the aortic arch with a proximal landing zone
  • Relay Pro D: The RelayPro® thoracic stent-graft is being used to treat acute, complicated type B aortic dissection
  • Relay Pro T: The RelayPro thoracic stent-graft is being used to treat traumatic injuries of the descending thoracic aorta

Interested in a clinical trial?

Talk to your doctor or call us at 704-355-4794. You can also find information on our cardiology research page. Search for the trial you're interested in by name.

Publications on aortic disease

Make a referral

When you refer a patient to us, we keep you involved and informed throughout the treatment process.

If you’re a potential patient, a self-referral is only necessary if it’s required by your health insurance provider.

If you’re a physician, medical professional or you need to self-refer, please call 704-373-0212.


Find a provider

We look forward to meeting and caring for you.


Get the region’s highest quality care for aortic disease at Sanger. 

Sanger Heart & Vascular Institute
Cardiothoracic Surgery Kenilworth 
1237 Harding Place, Suite 4300 
Charlotte, NC 28204 (get directions)
Phone: 704-373-0212

Frequently asked questions