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Life-Saving Treatment

Currently, there is no "cure" for thoracic aortic disease once there is degeneration of the tissue. Once present, regardless of the underlying cause, medical and surgical treatment options are available. Aortic surgery has advanced significantly, over a period of about three decades, saving many lives.
Thoracic Aortic Disease (TAD) - Surgery What is Aortic Surgery Like? Generally, “open aortic” surgery may seem like  "open heart" surgery because the chest is opened and the heart lung machine is used. During aortic surgery, the weak, thin diseased tissue is removed, and a graft made of Dacron is put in its place. Modern Dacron grafts are strong, flexible, and treated with collagen so that blood cannot soak through them. The human body does not reject Dacron, and the graft does not become calcified. Over time, the graft is completely covered with a thin layer of human cells. Total Circulatory Arrest However, there are some special differences when surgery is done on the aorta. One of those differences is the need to temporarily stop not just the heart, but also the flow of blood, at a certain point while the aorta is open. In order to safely stop the flow of blood temporarily, the body temperature must be very cold. This is called total circulatory arrest, and can be safely done for up to about 40 minutes. Advancements Continue Over time, the results from aortic surgery have been studied, and it has become clearer which techniques have been the safest with the longest lasting solutions. This has allowed aortic surgery to advance to where it is currently, and additional efforts to improve techniques continue. The objective of surgery is to perform the safest, longest-lasting procedure possible with current technology. TEVAR has also emerged as an option for treatment of the descending and thoracoabdominal aorta. This is not open surgery. It involves the insertion of a stent graft into this portion of the aorta.
BAF YouTube Channel Blog About the Aorta About the Aorta About TAD About TAD Who is at Risk? Who is at Risk? How is TAD Found? How is TAD Found? Treatment Treatment