Dr. Grayson Wheatley Cardiac Surgeon Aorta Aneurysm Dissection

Dr. Grayson Wheatley is a Heart and Vascular Surgeon and Director of Aortic and Endovascular Surgery at TriStar Centennial Medical Center in Nashville, TN

Open Aortic Surgery

From the desk of Dr. Grayson Wheatley

"Open Heart Surgery is The Gold Standard"

Nashville, Tennessee - The aorta is the main blood vessel of the body and is connected to the heart at the level of the aortic valve.  It's course runs the length of the body (torso) and gives off branches which provide blood flow to all the organs in the body.


Like with other forms of heart disease, such as coronary artery disease, surgical procedures involving open heart surgery can be safely performed to fix and repair the aorta and prevent catastrophic complications such as aortic rupture, internal bleeding and death.


The aorta is comprised of elastic tissue and expands and contracts with each heartbeat.  The wall of the aorta can degenerate in a number of ways, most commonly resulting in an aortic aneurysm.  Aneurysms of the aorta can arise either in the chest (near the heart) or abdomen (stomach region) - or in both locations.  Aortic aneurysms can be life-threatening.


An aortic aneurysm refers to a weakness, or bulge, in a section of the aorta (main blood vessel of the heart) which is connected to the heart and carries blood pumped from the heart to the rest of the body.

Open aortic surgery is a specialized set of surgical techniques, many of which were developed by the famous Heart Surgeon Dr. Micheal DeBakey, which utilize the heart-lung machine (cardiopulmonary bypass) and involves surgically cutting out and replacing the diseased portion of the aorta with a synthetic tube of material.

Request a consultation with Dr. Wheatley: 1-615-342-6900

most insurance plans accepted

When the portion of the aorta near the heart, called the ascending aorta, degenerates surgical replacement of the ascending aorta is performed using open heart surgery and cardiopulmonary bypass which necessitates an incision in the chest.

In the abdominal aorta for AAA (abdominal aortic aneurysms), cardiopulmonary bypass is not needed, and a straightforward incision in the stomach region (abdomen) is utilized.

For aortic dissections, which is a tear or rip in the wall of the aorta, open heart surgery along with hypothermic circulatory arrest is frequently used.


The aortic valve, being the transition between the heart and the aorta, can be involved in aortic aneurysms or aortic dissections and sometimes requires replacement at the time of the open aortic surgery or can be preserved as part of a valve-sparing root replacement.

Open Aortic Surgery

For Resection of Aortic Aneurysms and Aortic Dissections

The Aortic Center at Centennial Medical Center is pre-eminently qualified and skilled at treating patients with all forms of open aortic surgery and procedures (chest and abdomen) and is prepared to care for all patients with aortic aneurysms, aortic dissections and other types of aortic diseases including aortic transections, aortic pseudoaneurysms and penetrating aortic ulcers.

Contact us today to request your consultation at 1-615-342-6900 or email us info@badaorta.com and we will evaluate your unique aortic problem and provide a customized approach to your specific aortic problem.

Watch Dr. Grayson Wheatley Perform Open Aortic Surgery Including Ascending Aortic Aneurysm Repair with Aortic Valve Replacement

Request a consultation with Dr. Wheatley: 1-615-342-6900

most insurance plans accepted

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