Understanding Open Repair of the Descending Thoracic and Thoracoabdominal Aorta
Although substantial innovation has characterized the field of aortic surgery during the last 50 years, successful repair remains a formidable challenge. Aortic repair has grown to encompass adjuncts designed to ameliorate specific surgical morbidities, such as spinal cord and renal ischemia, while the strategy of repair remains largely dictated by the extent of repair. Repair of the distal aorta, namely the descending thoracic and thoracoabdominal aorta, poses different risks than proximal aortic repair; thus, operative strategy and expected outcomes vary tremendously with the extent of aorta that requires replacement. An accurate understanding of the extent of aortic involvement is critical to planning appropriate management.
KeywordsThoracic Aorta Left Subclavian Artery False Lumen Spinal Cord Ischemia Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm
The authors express gratitude to Stephen N. Palmer, PhD, ELS, and Angela T. Odensky, MA, of the Texas Heart Institute, as well as Susan Y. Green, MPH, for editorial assistance, and Scott A. Weldon, MA, CMI, and Carol P. Larson, CMI, for creating the illustrations and assisting with image selection.
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