Providing expert surgical care for the most complex aortic aneurysms

The Ohio State Aortic Center combines the expertise of highly skilled physicians including vascular surgeons, cardiac surgeons and cardiologists to provide a tailored approach to each patient’s care. This includes conventional surgery and new, minimally invasive procedures. In addition to scheduled aortic procedures, the Aortic Center also provides treatment for emergent and life threatening aneurysms.

Providing treatment for

  • Aortic Aneurysm – The aorta is the largest artery in your body, running from your heart through the middle of your chest and abdominal area. An aortic aneurysm occurs when the walls of the aorta weaken or bulge.
  • Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm – A weakened area of the aorta in the abdomen that bulges or expands.
  • Femoral Artery Aneurysm - An aneurysm in the femoral artery, located in the thigh.
  • Popliteal Artery Aneurysm - An aneurysm in the artery behind the knee.
  • Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm – An aneurysm that occurs in the thoracic aorta, the upper part of the aorta. The thoracic aorta runs through the chest to the abdomen.
  • Thoracoabdominal Aortic Aneurysms – An aneurysm that occurs in both parts of the aorta (thoracic and abdominal).
  • Visceral Artery Aneurysm – An aneurysm that occurs in the branches coming off the aorta which supplies blood to vital organs including the kidneys, liver, intestines and spleen.

Aortic Aneurysm risk factors

  • Smoking
  • Family History
  • Atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries)
  • Being a man over age 65
  • Connective tissue disorders such as Marfan Syndrome

Symptoms of an Aortic Aneurysm

Symptoms of a growing aortic aneurysm can include pain in the abdominal area, groin or lower back. Most people do not initially experience symptoms with an abdominal aortic aneurysm. However, the following symptoms can indicate that an abdominal aortic aneurysm is present:
  • Mass in the abdomen
  • Pulsating in your abdomen (similar to a heartbeat)
  • Sores, discoloration or pain on your feet (due to material shed from an aneurysm)
  • Stiff or rigid abdomen
  • Sudden, intense pain in your abdomen or lower back (may signify an aneurysm that is about to rupture; seek immediate medical care)
Symptoms of a thoracic aortic aneurysm can include:
  • Pain in the jaw, neck, chest or upper back
  • Chest pain
  • Coughing
  • Hoarseness
  • Difficulty breathing
If you do experience any of these symptoms do not ignore them. Please call the Aortic Center and schedule an evaluation.

Aneurysm treatment at the Ohio State Aortic Center

Your initial appointment will be with a cardiac surgeon, cardiologist or vascular surgeon followed by preoperative testing and imaging to determine the best surgical method, whether it’s minimally invasive or conventional surgery. Your surgery will be scheduled within a few weeks of testing. During an open surgical procedure, a prosthetic graft is implanted to repair the weakened aorta. In a minimally invasive procedure, your surgeon will insert a stent graft into your aorta through a catheter to support the weakened artery wall. In terms of recovery, a minimally invasive procedure typically sees the patient back to normal life in a few days. A conventional surgery could take eight weeks for the patient to recover. A follow-up appointment will be scheduled a month post-surgery with an annual follow up for the future.   

Why choose Ohio State for aortic aneurysm treatment?

Our team of dedicated surgeons are board certified physicians uniquely skilled to treat any aortic condition. The Ohio State Ross Heart Hospital provides world class care, with each floor dedicated to a specific service, such as cardiac surgery or vascular medicine. We have dedicated heart and vascular nursing staffs and state of the art operating rooms specifically designed for multidisciplinary surgical procedures. 

The Aortic Center participates in clinical trials, meaning we have access to the newest minimally invasive devices used to treat aneurysms. We have a unique ability to combine advancements in research and education to have a better understanding of aortic disease. Our multidisciplinary team approach allows collaboration amongst multiple medical specialties resulting in the best possible care for our patients.

Aortic Center Leaders and Doctors

Our leaders

Sarac formatted

Timur Sarac, MD

Director, Division of Vascular Diseases and Surgery

Director, Aortic Center
Dr. Sarac has performed more than 11,000 operations over the past 20 years. He has written more than 120 publications and holds more than 25 national and international patents. He is regarded nationally as part of an elite group of innovators creating minimally invasive options for patients with complex vascular disease.


Nahush Mokadam

Director, Division of Cardiac Surgery

Nahush Mokadam, MD, is the director of the Division of Cardiac Surgery. He holds the Gerard S. Kakos, MD, and Thomas E. Williams Jr., MD, PhD, Professorship. Dr. Mokadam is an international leader in heart failure who specializes in heart transplants and ventricular assist devices.


Kristine Orion, MD

Associate Professor of Surgery

Kristine Orion, MD, is a vascular surgeon with Ohio State's Division of Vascular Diseases and Surgery. Dr. Orion specializes in aortic surgery.


Timur Sarac, MD, explains the surgical procedures performed at Ohio State’s Aortic Center.

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    The Ohio State Aortic Center combines the expertise of highly skilled physicians including vascular surgeons, cardiac surgeons and cardiologists to provide a tailored approach to each patient’s care.
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