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The Only Center of Its Kind in Suffolk County for Patients with Aortic Conditions

The Stony Brook Aortic Center at Stony Brook Medicine provides the most focused solution to a patient's aortic disease. Our multidisciplinary team of physicians includes specialists in cardiac imaging, cardiovascular medicine, anesthesiology, cardiothoracic surgery, and vascular surgery, who work closely with each other, and with patients' referring physicians.

Leaders of the Stony Brook Aortic Center
Leaders of the Aortic Center (left to right): Drs. James R. Taylor Jr., William E. Lawson, Shang A. Loh, Apostolos K. Tassiopoulos, Thomas V. Bilfinger, Allison J. McLarty, and Harold A. Fernandez (not pictured here is Dr. Sandeep Gupta).

The leaders of the Aortic Center's team are: Apostolos K. Tassiopoulos, MD, professor of surgery and chief of vascular surgery; Thomas V. Bilfinger, MD, ScD, professor of surgery and director of thoracic surgery; James R. Taylor Jr., MD, professor of surgery, chief of cardiothoracic surgery, and co-director of the Stony Brook University Heart Institute; Shang A. Loh, MD, assistant professor of surgery; Harold A. Fernandez, MD, professor of surgery and deputy chief of cardiothoracic surgery, and co-director of the Heart Institute; Allison J. McLarty, MD, associate professor of surgery; Sandeep Gupta, MD, assistant professor of surgery; and William E. Lawson, MD, professor of medicine and director of cardiovascular catheterization laboratories.

Patients don't have to travel far to receive the very best in
detection of and treatment for the full range of aortic conditions.

The Aortic Center, which is closely allied with the Heart Institute, is Suffolk County's only facility offering patients comprehensive and coordinated care for the full range of aortic conditions. Our sophisticated technologies — in the hands of our specialists — help define aortic problems and the optimal treatment plan. Advanced diagnostic capabilities include:

  • 320-slice CT scanner for greater accuracy, faster exams, and less time needed for breath-holds.
  • GE 3.0 Tesla MRI scanner for three-dimensional views of blood vessels to ensure the highest quality care and improved patient outcomes.
  • PET/MRI technology that allows simultaneous scans to determine both the structure and function of aortic abnormalities.
  • PET/CT scans for information about the structure and function of cells and tissues while providing greater image accuracy and shorter treatment times.
  • A highly sophisticated Non-Invasive Vascular Laboratory with duplex scanners and Doppler units, used in diagnosis and follow-up.

Click on image for information about
our free Vascular Screening to be held
on September 27, 2014.

The Aortic Center's physicians are experienced in treating patients with co-existing conditions and other high-risk factors. They offer diagnosis and treatment for all aortic diseases, including:

Our minimally invasive interventions allow us to treat a wider spectrum of patients, with shorter hospital stays, and fewer postoperative complications. Our advanced interventions include:

  • Endovascular stent grafts for abdominal and thoracic aortic aneurysms.
  • Incisionless repair of abdominal aortic aneurysm.
  • Custom-built fenestrated stent grafts to treat aneurysms with complex anatomy (read more).
  • Endovascular treatment of aortic dissections.
  • Valve-sparing aortic procedures.
  • Visceral debranching and stent grafting for thoracoabdominal aneurysms.
  • Techniques for brain and spinal cord protection during aortic procedures.
  • Complex aortic re-interventions.

To fulfill our mission of excellence in patient care, our physicians consistently take part in vascular quality initiatives that result in exceptional clinical outcomes for our patients — outcomes that rival those of some of the largest medical facilities in the northeast region of the United States.

We are committed to providing patients with an appointment within 1 week
of referral from their physician, and expediting the delivery of care.

The Aortic Center's team includes two clinical navigators who are hands-on every step of the way, to help ensure that patients and their families have the support and resources they need. Before, during, and after surgery, these navigators act as liaisons between the patient and attending physician to provide a seamless course of care.

Illustrated patient education materials are given to all patients and families to help them better understand their aortic condition and potential treatment options.

With the increasing number of minimally invasive techniques established for aortic repair, surveillance imaging with duplex ultrasound (sonography) or CT angiography is now a mainstay of follow-up care. And often surveillance imaging continues for life. After the patient's surgery, we recommend an interval surveillance regimen, and we work closely with the patient and his/her family and with the referring physician, to help ensure optimal lifelong care.

When a patient needs to be transferred to Stony Brook University Hospital, we are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to provide immediate care. The hospital's Patient Transfer Center is a comprehensive emergency medical service system that is staffed by a team of specially-trained healthcare professionals.

The aorta is the main artery carrying oxygenated blood from the heart through the chest and abdomen.

In addition to blockages, congenital disorders, and infection, two of the more common problems affecting this vessel are: aneurysms, blood-filled bulges resulting from a weakening in the vessel wall; and dissections, tears in the aorta's inner wall that can cause reduced blood supply to other parts of the body and heart failure.

These problems can occur in anyone, but most patients are male, over age 55, smoke tobacco, and have high blood pressure or heart disease.

One of the goals of the Aortic Center is to educate patients and provide primary care providers with resources that facilitate early recognition of patients at risk, timely diagnosis of aortic conditions that are often silent, and medical control of risk factors so that we reduce the number of aortic emergencies in our area.

Download brochure. For consultations/appointments with the surgical specialists of the Stony Brook Aortic Center, please call 631-444-2683.