Helping patients, families, and physicians gain a better understanding of aortic disease is my mission.
Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms (AAA)
Thoracic Aortic Aneurysms (TAA)
Thoracoabdominal Aortic Aneurysms (TAAA)
Aortic Arch Aneurysms
Aortic Root Aneurysms
Ascending aortic aneurysms
Aortic Stenosis (AS)
Aortic Insufficiency (AI)
Bicuspid Aortic Valve (BAV)
Type A aortic dissections
Type B aortic dissections
Thoracic endovascular aortic repair (TEVAR)
Endovascular aneurysm repair (EVAR)
Aortic root replacement
Valve sparing aortic root replacement
Total aortic arch replacement
Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR)
What is an Aortic Aneurysm?
An aortic aneurysm is a localized enlargement of the aorta. The aorta is the largest blood vessel in the body and carries blood away from the heart to the brain, body, and internal organs. It is connected directly to the heart and is normally about the size of a garden hose. The aorta is constantly expanding and contracting in coordination with the heartbeat.
A widening of the aorta, called an aortic aneurysm, can develop unexpectedly deep inside the chest or stomach region (abdomen).
Aneurysm disease is a major concern and, if undiagnosed or untreated, could be a life-threatening condition. Over 10,000 people in the United States die yearly from an aortic aneurysm.
Symptoms of an aortic aneurysm depend on where the aneurysm is located within the body. Aortic aneurysms in the stomach region, or abdomen, can produce a throbbing or stabbing pain in the side, flank, mid-back, or lower abdomen. A pulsing mass in the stomach is often an indicator of an abdominal aortic aneurysm, called a "triple-A" (AAA). Aortic aneurysms in the chest (thoracic aortic aneurysms, or TAA) are associated with a sharp pain in the upper back between the shoulder blades. A pressure in the front of the chest and trouble breathing, called shortness of breath, can also be related to an aortic aneurysm behind the rib cage and breast bone.
ABOUT DR. GRAYSON WHEATLEY
I’m Dr. Grayson Wheatley, a board-certified heart surgeon with specific expertise in aortic surgery.
As a passionate medical professional, educator, and patient advocate, my goal is to provide exceptional patient care that incorporates cutting-edge therapies.
At the world-renowned Arizona Heart Institute, I completed my Cardiovascular Surgery Fellowship with Dr. Edward B. Diethrich, a pioneer in endovascular aortic treatments. I also completed a 2-year National Institute of Health-sponsored research fellowship at Duke University School of Medicine under the direction of Dr. David Sabiston. After completing my training, I began my career practicing at the Arizona Heart Institute and Hospital for almost ten years.
In the years since, I’ve cared for thousands of patients with aortic disease and trained hundreds of medical students, residents, and fellows on the most effective strategies to manage complex aortic problems. To date, I’ve authored over 120 peer-reviewed research publications and authored two books on the subject. I’ve also patented several medical devices for the treatment of aortic disease and worked with numerous medical device companies to advance the field of aortic surgery.
Additionally, I’ve served on a number of committees for professional medical societies and presented at numerous medical conferences across the globe. I also offer consulting services for medical device companies and currently serve on the Editorial Board for several Cardiovascular Surgery journals.
As you can see, I enjoy contributing my expertise to the field in any way that I can. I wholeheartedly believe that collaboration is crucial to advancing our understanding and treatment of aortic diseases. To that end, I’ve devoted much of my career to educating people about how aortic diseases occur and what we know about treating them.
To remain on the cusp of advances in healthcare delivery, I recently completed a Master’s in Health Analytics degree at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business.
In all I do, it’s an honor to live out a mission I adopted from my mentor, Dr. Edward B Diethrich: “To teach. To care. To pioneer.”
Dr. Grayson Wheatley with another satisfied patient after a minimally-invasive heart surgery procedure.
Dr. Grayson Wheatley performing an open heart surgery procedure.
THE ART AND SCIENCE OF AORTIC DISEASE
From an experienced Heart Surgeon and author of Risk Factors For Developing Aortic Disease: A Tool For Patients and Physicians comes a breakthrough book that pulls back the curtains like never before on one of the most challenging heart problems known to Medicine – Aortic Dissections.
Aortic disease is called a silent killer because there are often no symptoms before an aortic emergency. Knowing the risk factors for developing aortic disease can save your life. Hundreds of patients, physicians, and family members of people with aortic disease have benefited from the information provided in the original report.
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