Your aorta is your body’s main artery that sends blood from your heart to the rest of your body. When it develops a tear (a dissection), it’s a medical emergency. Left untreated, it can affect your brain, lungs, arms, legs and heart.

If you have an aortic dissection, blood seeps between the layers of your aorta. That means less oxygen-rich blood is available for the rest of your body. So, early diagnosis and treatment are vital. At Baptist Health, our expert cardiac surgeons use leading-edge technologies and the most advanced medical procedures to repair your tear.

When Should You Get an Aortic Dissection Repair?

When Should You Get an Aortic Dissection Repair?

Aortic dissections can happen in two parts of your artery:

  • Tears in your ascending aorta — the part that travels through your chest to your head — can be life-threatening and require surgery as soon as possible. This type of tear is called type A aortic dissection. 
  • You can also develop a tear in the descending aorta that runs through your chest to your belly (type B aortic dissection). Medication can sometimes be an option for treating this type of aortic dissection.
Photo of Myrna Nemzoff
“Dr. Lee is an unbelievable surgeon – really excellent – and Dr. Renfro is just amazing. She’s a wonderful anesthesiologist. Together, they saved my life.”

Aortic Dissection Repair Options

Aortic dissection repair procedures are complex. Our vascular surgeons are trained to complete these surgeries with both traditional and minimally invasive techniques. We can help you determine which approach will give you the best outcomes.

Endovascular Surgery

Through a small incision in your leg, your surgeon uses X-ray guidance to thread a catheter carrying a synthetic graft to the spot of your tear. They may use contrast dye to help them see the tear and better place the graft.

Endovascular surgery is less invasive than open-heart surgery. This means your hospital stay after the procedure is much shorter. You will also be able to return to normal activity much faster.

Traditional Open-Heart Surgery

Your surgeon makes a small cut (incision) in your chest or belly at the spot of your tear. They use a manmade (synthetic) graft to replace the damaged parts of your aorta, and they can replace a damaged aortic valve at the same time. During this procedure, a heart bypass machine will take over pumping blood around your heart and lungs.

Because open heart surgery is a complex procedure, patients will stay in the hospital for about a week after surgery. This allows your doctor to closely monitor your recovery. Once home, you will not be able to drive or lift heavy items for several weeks.

Meet Our Aortic Dissection Surgery Specialists

We are proud that our team of highly trained cardiac surgeons has experience across the full range of heart conditions and surgical procedures. They are dedicated to working with you to secure your best outcomes.

To schedule with our team of physicians in Miami-Dade County, call 786-596-1230

To schedule with our team of physicians in Boca Raton or Boynton Beach call 561-955-6300

Our Locations


8950 North Kendall Drive
Suite #600W
Miami, Florida 33176

Boca Raton

801 Meadows Road
Suite #102
Boca Raton, Florida 33486

Boynton Beach

2815 S Seacrest Blvd
3rd Floor
Boynton Beach, Florida 33435

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