Minimally invasive surgical approaches and comprehensive management of aortic disease

The term “aortic wellness” has gained increased attention at leading heart programs across the nation. This is due largely to the growing complexity of aortic problems and the rise in the number of people found to have aortic aneurysms and dissections.

The Lankenau Heart Institute, located just minutes from Philadelphia, is one of only several programs in the mid-Atlantic region offering a specialized aortic wellness program, which ranges from diagnostic and genetic testing to aortic monitoring and aortic surgery. When possible, the team performs minimally invasive aortic surgery (a non-full sternotomy approach). Under the direction of nationally recognized experts in complex aortic surgery, Konstadinos Plestis, MD, and Alexander Uribe, MD, Lankenau Heart Institute’s program offers comprehensive care and individualized treatment plans for the full spectrum of aortic problems—including the treatment of aortic dissections, traumatic aortic injuries, thoracoabdominal aneurysms, and other acute aortic syndromes.

More than 56 percent of aortic surgeries performed at Lankenau Heart Institute are performed using a minimally invasive approach.

Together, Drs. Plestis and Uribe have more than 40 years of combined experience in aortic surgery. In 2014 they established the Aortic Wellness Center, assembling a dedicated team of aortic subspecialists to provide comprehensive treatment of all aspects of aortic disease. The team includes cardiac and vascular surgeons, cardiologists, cardiac imaging specialists, radiologists, and anesthesiologists, all who ensure optimal evaluation and management of patients at risk for aortic complications as well as rapid, coordinated treatment of acute aortic emergencies.

Prior to joining Lankenau Heart Institute, during the time period from 1998 to 2013, Dr. Plestis personally performed 1,225 complex aortic surgical procedures spanning every segment of the aorta. Throughout his surgical career, he has demonstrated great skill and expertise in complex aortic and aneurysm surgery. As a result of his vast experience, survival and stroke rates are better than average compared to national benchmarks.

Since joining the Lankenau Heart Institute in 2014, Dr. Plestis has performed over 200 aortic surgery cases, with greater than 56 percent being performed using a minimally invasive approach. In 2015, the survival rate for both minimally invasive aortic and mitral valve surgery was 100 percent.

In 2015, the survival rate for both minimally invasive aortic and mitral valve surgery was 100 percent.

At Lankenau Heart Institute, patients with aortic disease benefit from the experience of an exceptional team of aortic wellness specialists, state-of-the-art diagnostic technology, and a comprehensive array of medical and minimally invasive surgical treatment options. Enrollment into the Lankenau Heart Institute’s aortic wellness screening program ensures that patients with a high risk of developing aortic disease receive the attention and ongoing care they require.

The Aortic Wellness Center at Lankenau Heart Institute provides patients and physicians the care, confidence and coordination they require to manage this complex condition. Let us be your partners on the path to aortic wellness.

To schedule an appointment with a Lankenau Heart Institute specialist, call 1.866.CALL.MLH (225.5654) or use our secure online appointment request form.