We welcome you to join Michael S Firstenberg, MD, FACC, FAIM, a board-certified thoracic surgeon at The Medical Center of Aurora, who will discuss why neurocognitive complications after aortic surgery continue to be a challenging problem and represent significant risks for peri-operative morbidity and mortality – both short and long-term. As surgical techniques have evolved to improve outcomes in cardiac surgery over time, the complexity of the operations and the increasing comorbidities (including advanced age) of patients undergoing cardiac surgery continue to increase. While various techniques, including advanced applications of extra-corporeal support, can help mitigate the risks of brain injury – such techniques are not widely applied and have some risks associated with them as well. The goal of this lecture is to broadly discuss some of the opportunities and advances for protecting the brain in patients undergoing open aortic surgery.