The aorta is the largest blood vessel in the body. Unfortunately, the aorta is prone to a variety of complex disorders that are surprisingly common and that can lead to devastating complications when it ruptures, rips or occludes. These “acute aortic syndromes” include:
- Aortic Aneurysm – thoracic, abdominal and thoracoabdominal
- Aortic dissections
- Aortic infections including graft infections
- Aortic trauma
- Genetic syndromes affecting the aorta such as Marfan’s and Ehlers-Danlos
- Aortic tumors
- Aortic inflammatory diseases including Takayasu’s Arteritis and inflammatory aortic syndromes
Aortic conditions often go unrecognized or untreated until it is too late. Prompt recognition and management are critical to achieving optimal results. For the past twenty years, the vascular specialists at UAMS have focused on providing state-of-the-art care for patients with complex aortic conditions ranging from infections to dissections to ruptures.
Conventional open surgical procedures are sometimes needed to correct the most complex aortic problems including thoracoabdominal aneurysms, extensive dissections and some types of aortic infections.
In some cases, we rely on image-guidance to perform minimally invasive endovascular procedures. Aortic endografts have dramatically altered our ability to treat aortic conditions without the morbidity associated with conventional surgery. In 2016, UAMS constructed a new state-of-the-art hybrid endovascular operating room, allowing us to manage all types of complex aortic and open surgical conditions of the aorta.
Increasingly, we combine open surgical procedures with endovascular techniques to achieve results that are not otherwise possible with either strategy alone. We have access to all current endovascular devices and use combinations of advanced open and endovascular techniques as needed for each case.
UAMS Aortic Pathway
Since 2008, we have developed our Aortic Pathway to facilitate the management and transfer of patients with complex aortic emergencies. The Aortic Pathway was designed to remove ANY obstacles that can interfere with optimal care.
One call to the Physicians Call Center is all it takes to speak to one of our vascular specialists, 24 hours a day, and arrange an immediate transfer. When we “activate” the Aortic Pathway, all personnel involved in these cases arrives in the ER to immediately address emergent surgical treatment. In addition to the emergency department staff, the patient will be met upon arrival by ICU nurses, Operating room nurses, Anesthesiologists and the entire vascular surgery team. In cases where cardiac surgery is needed, they too are contacted and are present upon arrival of the patient. This allows immediate triage and a tight management scheme.
Since we initiated this process, the time to definitive treatment has been markedly reduced and our outcomes have improved.
UAMS Vascular is dedicated to providing state-of-the-art care for patients with complex aortic conditions including aneurysms, dissections, infections and trauma.