About the UPMC Center for Thoracic Aortic Disease

Advanced Care With a Single Office Visit

The UPMC Center for Thoracic Aortic Disease (CTAD) is a center of excellence established by the UPMC Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery to facilitate comprehensive diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up for patients with thoracic aortic disease.

A critical aspect of the CTAD is the multidisciplinary approach to patient care.

Patients with thoracic aortic disease often must consult many different specialists to address various aspects of their disease. At the CTAD, our system of care has been specially designed to better accommodate the patient.

When patients are referred to the CTAD, they undergo a comprehensive evaluation by the integrated, multidisciplinary team, at one location — the Thoracic Aortic Clinic at UPMC University Center, located in the Oakland section of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

We offer consultations by specialists, including:

  • Cardiologists
  • Cardiovascular surgeons
  • Geneticists
  • Radiologists
  • Vascular surgeons
  • Neurologists

These appointments often can be coordinated with diagnostic imaging and cardiology testing in the same clinic, often in the same day.

Improving Care Through Research and Education

The CTAD’s surgeons are actively involved in ongoing research to advance patient care and form new strategies to better manage thoracic aortic disease.

For example, CTAD surgeons have developed ways to reconstruct a patient’s aortic root while preserving the heart’s native valve. This offers an alternative to valve replacement with a mechanical valve (which could require patients to take blood thinners for the rest of their lives), or a tissue valve (which could require additional surgeries).

The development of minimally invasive approaches is also a priority of the CTAD.

Compared to traditional, open surgery, minimally invasive approaches offer patients the potential for:

  • Smaller incisions
  • Less post-operative pain
  • Fewer complications
  • A quicker recovery

Qualifying patients may be treated with thoracic endovascular therapy (stent grafts), a minimally invasive approach that could delay, or eliminate, the need for open-heart surgery.

Breaking Down Barriers, Coordinating Care

By bringing specialized testing and experts to the patient, the CTAD helps break down communication barriers, so that specialists can more closely collaborate on treatment planning for patients with thoracic aortic disease.

Referring physicians need only to make a single phone call to the CTAD to initiate a comprehensive evaluation for their patient.

In fact, a fundamental mission of the CTAD is helping primary care, emergency medicine, and subspecialty providers identify, treat, follow, and track the progress of their patients with thoracic aortic disease.  

Pre-hospital referrals and transfers for thoracic aortic emergencies  like an aortic dissection, ruptured aneurysm, or traumatic aortic injury are rapidly facilitated with a single phone call, from the patient or provider, to the CTAD’s hotline.

©  UPMC | Affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences
Supplemental content provided by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions. All rights reserved.

For help in finding a doctor or health service that suits your needs, call the UPMC Referral Service at 412-647-UPMC (8762) or 1-800-533-UPMC (8762). Select option 1.

UPMC is an equal opportunity employer. UPMC policy prohibits discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, age, sex, genetics, sexual orientation, marital status, familial status, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected group status. Further, UPMC will continue to support and promote equal employment opportunity, human dignity, and racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity. This policy applies to admissions, employment, and access to and treatment in UPMC programs and activities. This commitment is made by UPMC in accordance with federal, state, and/or local laws and regulations.

Medical information made available on UPMC.com is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should not rely entirely on this information for your health care needs. Ask your own doctor or health care provider any specific medical questions that you have. Further, UPMC.com is not a tool to be used in the case of an emergency. If an emergency arises, you should seek appropriate emergency medical services.

For UPMC Mercy Patients: As a Catholic hospital, UPMC Mercy abides by the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services, as determined by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. As such, UPMC Mercy neither endorses nor provides medical practices and/or procedures that contradict the moral teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.

© UPMC
Pittsburgh, PA, USA UPMC.com