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THE JOURNAL OF CARDIOVASCULAR SURGERY
Rivista di Chirurgia Cardiaca, Vascolare e Toracica
Indexed/Abstracted in: BIOSIS Previews, Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
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TECHNICAL NOTES VASCULAR SECTION
The Journal of Cardiovascular Surgery 2001 June;42(3):397-402
Replacement of the entire thoracic aorta according to the reversed Elephant Trunk technique
Zanetti P. P.
From the “Heart” Department Vascular and Thoracic Surgery Ward High Specialisation Hospital “G. Brotzu”, Cagliari, Italy
The aim of this work is to present our modified Elephant Trunk technique to reduce circulatory arrest time and consequently mortality and morbidity rates. According to Borst’s technique the ascending aorta and aortic arch are replaced first, under deep hypothermic circulatory arrest, while a graft segment is left in the descending thoracic aorta. In the second stage of the operation, the descending thoracic aorta is replaced through left thoracotomy using this graft segment. In our modified technique, after the flexion in the proximal segment of the graft, the descending thoracic aorta is replaced first through left thoracotomy in Bio-Pump protection, choosing the best aortic segment for proximal anastomosis. In the second stage we replace the ascending aorta and the aortic arch using the graft and applying Carrel patch anastamosis only to the epiaortic vessels, under deep hypothermic circulatory arrest. It is our opinion that the mortality incidence of this technique is similar to that obtained with Borst’s technique, though certainly inferior to the “one stage procedure”, while the morbidity results are better than those obtained with the Borst Elephant Trunk technique and with the “one stage procedure”. Infact there are fewer stroke incidents thanks to the reduced times of deep hypothermic circulatory arrest, and fewer postoperative bleedings and respiratory failures thanks to the reduced times of the total cardiopulmonary bypass. At the beginning we used this technique to replace symptomatic aneurysms, covered ruptures, and hematomas of the wall of the descending thoracic aorta, which required replacement of the descending thoracic aorta first; we later extended the treatment to all types of thoracic aorta aneurysms.