I'm Dr. Grayson Wheatley, a board-certified heart surgeon specializing in aortic surgery.

This blog is dedicated to giving patients, family members, and physicians quality medical information about the aorta, its diseases, and how to treat them.

Aortic Surgery in Cuba


Yes, you read that correctly.

With the recent passing of Fidel Castro, I thought it would be a good time to share some of my adventures from Cuba.

Over the last year and half, I have had the pleasure and good fortune to travel to Cuba twice to learn more about the healthcare system in Cuba and understand how patients with aortic disease are treated.

With these visits, I have also met... Continue reading.

Image(ing) Is Everything

In every presentation that I give - whether it is in the United States or internationally - there is a common theme that I emphasize with the audience.

The theme is: With regards to treatment of aortic diseases such as aortic aneurysms or aortic dissections, “Imaging is Everything”.

What do I mean by that?

When a patient is diagnosed with an aortic problem, such as an aortic aneurysm, the first thing we do is... Continue reading.

Meet Cullen Timmons - Diagnosing His Own Aortic Aneurysm

I want you to meet Cullen Timmons. His story - relative to aortic aneurysms - is a remarkable case of astute thinking and serendipity.

Cullen is a 26-year old, active, healthy medical student at the University of Virginia who was taking an elective called “Advanced Physical Diagnosis”.  As part of that class, he placed a stethoscope to his own chest to listen to his own heart. What he heard surprised even him.

Cullen... Continue reading.

Do you have an aortic aneurysm? The case for aortic screening

Do you have an aortic aneurysm?

One of the most unique features of aortic aneurysms is that they can develop without any warning signs.

Think about it:  Most diseases or disorders develop slowly over time and once the disease has “progressed” to a certain stage, then the “effects” of the disease manifest themselves.  This is the period when someone goes to the doctor because they aren’t feeling well or have a specific complaint... Continue reading.

Meet Isaiah Austin

Isaiah Austin is an inspiration to us all, and particularly to patients with Marfans Syndrome.

Isaiah was a star basketball player at Baylor University in Texas.  Last year, he completed an all-star performance as the center on the men’s basketball team. All he had ever wanted to do and worked tirelessly was to play professional basketball in the NBA.  He had the natural athletic talent and physical skills to play in the NBA.... Continue reading.