Thirty-nine patients (mean age: 33 years) with Takayasu's disease were observed over the past 8 years. Among these patients, 33 had surgical intervention with a mean follow-up of 4 years. Lesions of the aortic arch were the most common (29 patients, 69 lesions) and frequently were associated with lesions in another site as well. However, in this group of patients, the infrequent presence of signs of cerebral vascular insufficiency limited the number of suitable surgical candidates to 14 patients. Lesions of the renal arteries were noted in 25 patients (37 lesions) and were associated with coarctation of the thoracoabdominal aorta in 12 patients. In contrast to lesions of the aortic arch, the presence of severe hypertension was a frequent indication for surgery in Takayasu's disease. Twenty-one patients had operation. Twenty of 21 patients were considered cured or improved of hypertension. The one patient who received no benefit was the only operative death of the study. In conclusion, although Takayasu's disease is progressive and the life expectancy is foreshortened, hypertension secondary to aortic and renal artery lesions is a frequent and important indication for aggressive operative treatment.