The Center for Aortic Disease
Many people with aortic disease don’t have symptoms. In fact, they may only find out that they have a problem after it's revealed in a chest X-ray or CT scan taken for an unrelated condition.
Left untreated, aortic disease can cut lives short or lead to catastrophic complications — a tear or rupture of the aorta, for example.
Comprehensive Care, Personalized for Your Needs
At the Scott & White Heart & Vascular Institute, we've established The Center for Aortic Disease, a center of excellence in Temple, Texas. Our goal is to help Central Texas providers of primary care, emergency medicine, and subspecialty care to identify and treat their patients with aortic disease, and then track their progress — monitoring their health during a relatively safe period to see if there are any indications that an aortic repair is needed.
We provide a multidisciplinary approach for diagnosis and recommendations for surgery. Our patients with aortic disease understand that they will be followed closely in our clinic both before and after surgery.
As a Scott & White patient, you can expect comprehensive, multidisciplinary and coordinated care that's personalized for your needs. Through early diagnosis, appropriate medical management, elective minimally invasive surgery or open surgical therapies, and close follow-up care, we're able to help patients like you live a normal life.
Our Leadership Team Provides Excellence in Patient Care and Research
The Center for Aortic Disease is led by experienced specialists:
- Kenton J. Zehr, MD, Director, Center for Aortic Disease
- Marvin D. Atkins Jr, MD, Co-Director, Center for Aortic Disease
- John P. Erwin, III, MD, FACC, Medical Director, Center for Aortic Disease
- Clifford J. Buckley, MD, FACS, Director, Division of Vascular Surgery
- Douglas McDonald, MD, Diagnostic Radiology and Interventional Radiology
Our leadership team facilitates and streamlines the highest level care for patients. The team also promotes clinical research aimed at improving reconstructive techniques and making additional diagnostic and treatment options available to benefit patients.
Common Aortic Problems
Common problems that might require surgery include:
- Degenerative aneurysm disease from the chest to the abdomen
- Aortic dissections (a tear in the aorta wall)
- Connective tissue abnormalities (Marfan syndrome, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, Loeys-Dietz syndrome)
- Inflammatory aortic disease (Giant cell arteritis)
- Bicuspid aortic valve disease
- Vascular anomalies
Our Advanced Diagnostic and Therapeutic Services
The Center for Aortic Disease gives patients immediate access to state-of-the-art diagnostic and treatment services, including:
- 3-D, volume rendered, computerized tomographic and magnetic resonance angiography — imaging techniques that enable doctors to identify diseased arteries and determine the best plan for treatment
- Stat Echocardiography for emergency cardiac and aortic root evaluation
- Surgery with neurocerebral and spinal cord protection protocols to optimize neurological outcomes
- The use of minimally invasive endovascular aortic repairs with stent-grafts to repair an aortic aneurysm, aortic tear or traumatic injury when appropriate
- Reconstruction of the aortic root with aortic valve-sparing techniques championed by the center’s own surgeons
- The latest in medical management strategies to control blood pressure, reduce the rate of an aneurysm's expansion and slow or prevent aortic inflammation
Pre-Hospital Referral and Patient Transfers
Pre-hospital referral and transfer of an aortic emergency can be quickly made with a single phone call from the patient or physician to: 877-595-6089.