Innovation in Complex Aortic Care

Dr. Joseph Bavaria, vice-chair of cardiothoracic surgery, and Dr. Ron Fairman, chief of vascular surgery, discuss how innovation in the field and within the Penn Medicine organization has helped improve and evolve patient care for complex aortic disease.

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Treating Complex Aortic Disease

Penn Medicine is dedicated to removing the "un" from "unavoidable, unpredictable, and untreatable" when it comes to disorders of the thoracic aorta. For more than two decades, Penn's cardiac and vascular surgery teams have enjoyed a robust and productive collaboration.

When patients come to the Penn Complex Aortic Disease Program, specialists first help patients avoid surgery through early detection of potential problems. By identifying and managing genetic risk factors, the progression of disease can be slowed or halted through rigorous medical management. 

Complex aortic specialists at Penn:

  • Offer the latest and safest surgical procedures before an emergency occurs
  • Bring together the most capable and experienced rapid response teams in the region to treat patients in critical condition
  • Aggressively prevent complications with stringent surgical and intensive care protocols
  • Provide lifelong monitoring by partnering with the patient’s cardiologist or primary care physician

The dedicated team consists of cardiac surgeons, vascular surgeons, anesthesiologists, cardiologists, neurologists and medical genetics specialists.

Experience you can rely on

When Penn's Complex Aortic Disease Program was founded in 1993, it was the first in the region fully dedicated to the timely recognition, treatment and long-term management of patients with severe aortic disease. Today, the program is:

  • The most active in the Philadelphia region following more patients than any other area hospital.
  • A recognized national and international leader in the field with patient outcomes that exceed national benchmarks and well-respected programs in research and education.

Penn cardiovascular surgeons have the most experience in the region performing aortic root procedures. Protocols developed at Penn for minimizing the risk of surgical complications, such as spinal cord injury and kidney damage, are now being used by other centers around the world.

In This Section

Treatments and Procedures

Penn is a top ranked institution in the field of complex aortic disease.  Learn about the innovative endovascular therapies and traditional open surgeries that are available here.

Treatment Team

Penn cardiovascular surgeons provide leading-edge therapies for complex aortic disease. 

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