Torrance Memorial's Thoracic Aortic Surgery Program specializes in
the surgical treatment of
aortic disease affecting the thoracic aorta, which may cause dilation, aneurysm and dissection.
When the risk of aortic dissection or rupture is greater than that associated
with surgery, elective surgery is offered to replace the diseased section
of the aorta with a Dacron graft. If necessary the aortic valve may also
be either repaired or replaced. The following are Thoracic Aortic surgical options:
Thoracic Aortic Resection
The surgical removal of some portion of diseased aorta. A Dacron graft
is used to replace your diseased aortic tissue and is compatible with
your body, so rejection is not an issue and calcification does not occur.
Hypothermic Circulatory Arrest
Surgeries that remove a portion of the aorta temporarily stop blood circulation
under controlled conditions. To prevent injury to your brain, hypothermic
circulatory arrest, also called total circulatory arrest (TCA), is used
to temporarily suspend blood flow under very cold body temperatures. At
these cold temperatures, cellular activity levels slow significantly,
and blood circulation can be stopped for up to 30 to 40 minutes without
harm to you. This allows surgery to safely be performed on your aorta.
A majority of thoracic aortic surgery patients will need a short TCA time
of 15 to 30 minutes.
Selective Cerebral Perfusion
Another safety procedure that may be used during hypothermic circulatory
arrest to protect your brain is selective cerebral perfusion, which ensures
oxygenated blood reaches your brain. With selective cerebral perfusion,
the surgeon will make a second incision in your upper chest and place
a cannula in an artery to deliver blood to your brain while the rest of
your circulation is stopped. This helps prevent brain injury during hypothermic
circulatory arrest. When the cannula is removed, the incision will be
sutured and closed.