Aortic Disease

University of Chicago Center for Aortic Diseases (UCCAD)

For over 100 years, the world-renowned clinicians and scientists at the University of Chicago Medicine have specialized in the diagnosis, care and management of all types of aortic conditions As pioneers in developing many of the currently used treatments. Our University of Chicago Center for Aortic Disease (UCCAD) delivers high-quality care to these patients.

As one of the most established aortic programs in the region, UCCAD consists of a multidisciplinary team of cardiac and vascular surgeons, cardiovascular anesthesiologists, cardiologists, vascular radiologists, nurse practitioners and social workers. These experts work together to design a comprehensive treatment plan that complements each individual patient's needs and lifestyle.

Aorta Anatomy
Aortic Conditions

Aorta Anatomy

The largest artery in the human body, the aorta supplies blood pumped from the heart to the rest of the body. Starting in the left ventricle of the heart, it extends downward through the chest and into the abdomen. The aorta is a continuous vessel that is divided into six segments:

  • Aortic root is located just above the left ventricle
  • Ascending aorta extends upward towards the arch
  • Aortic arch is the top curve of the artery
  • Descending aorta extends down the back from the arch to the abdominal
  • Thoracic aorta is the portion of the descending aorta above the diaphragm
  • Abdominal aorta is the section of the descending aorta below the diaphragm

Aortic Conditions

UCCAD offers state-of-the-art diagnostic imaging and cutting edge treatment to deliver advanced, compassionate care. We are experienced in treating patients who are otherwise considered at increased risk due to co-existing conditions and other factors, and for those requiring complex aortic re-interventions. We use the latest minimally invasive techniques to manage the following aortic conditions:


Vascular Surgery

Cardiac Surgery


Cardiovascular Imaging

Genetic Counseling

Interventional Cardiology

Interventional Radiology

Cardiovascular Anesthesia


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Referring Physicians
Call 1-800-824-2282 for physician-to-physician contact. Our team is available 24/7 to coordinate urgent, emergent and elective transfers at the local, regional, national and international levels.