Elephant trunk procedure for surgical treatment of aortic dissection.

Department of Cardiovascular Surgery, National Cardiovascular Center, Suita, Osaka, Japan.
The Annals of Thoracic Surgery (Impact Factor: 3.45). 08/1998; 66(1):82-7. DOI: 10.1016/S0003-4975(98)00349-X
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT In surgical intervention for aortic dissection, a highly radical operation can be performed by distal anastomosis with a true lumen resulting in thrombotic closure of the dissecting lumen. In this anastomosis, the elephant trunk procedure, in which a graft is inserted into the distal true lumen, prevents blood flow leakage into the dissecting lumen at the anastomosis site and also strengthens this area.
We performed this procedure in 15 patients (8 men and 7 women). Acute aortic dissection was observed in 9 patients and chronic dissection in 6. Stanford type A dissection was diagnosed in 10 patients and type B in 5.
Graft replacement of the ascending aorta and total aortic arch was performed in 10 patients and descending aortic replacement in 5. A graft with a diameter of 16 to 24 mm was inserted into the true lumen of the descending aorta, and the false lumen was closed. Subsequently, distal anastomosis was performed on the true lumen. There were two hospital deaths. Postoperative digital subtraction angiography showed good results in living patients, and computed tomographic scanning showed thrombotic closure in the dissecting lumen of the descending aorta.
The elephant trunk procedure is useful for closing the false lumen of the distal aorta.

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    ABSTRACT: The combined disease of the aortic arch and the descending aorta (aneurysms and dissection) remains a surgical challenge. Various approaches have been used to treat this complex pathology. In the two-stage operation, at the first-stage operation, the aortic arch is replaced through a median sternotomy. Later, at the second-stage operation, the descending thoracic aorta is replaced through a lateral thoracotomy. The elephant trunk (ET) technique was introduced by H.G. Borst at our centre in March 1982, greatly simplifying the second-phase operation. We present our 30-year experience. From March 1982 to March 2012, 179 patients (112 males, age 56.4 ± 12.6 years) received an ET procedure for the combined disease of the aortic arch and the descending aorta (91 aneurysms, 88 dissections (47 acute)). Fifty-six of these patients had undergone previous cardiac operations. Concomitant procedures were performed if necessary. The cerebral protection was done either by deep (till 1999) or moderate hypothermic circulatory arrest and selective antegrade cerebral perfusion (SACP, after 1999). Cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) and X-clamp times were 208.5 ± 76.5 min and 123.7 ± 54.8 min, respectively. The intraoperative mortality and 30-day mortality during the first-stage operation were 1.7% (3/179) and 17.3% (31/179, 15 with AADA), respectively. Perioperative stroke was 7.9% (n = 14/176). Postoperative recurrent nerve palsy was present in 18.2% (32/176) and paraplegia in 5.6% (10/176). The second-stage completion operation was performed as early as possible. Fifty-seven second-stage completion procedures were performed, either surgically (n = 50) or through interventional techniques (n = 7). The intraoperative and 30-day mortality after the second-stage completion procedures were 5.2% (3/57) and 7.0% (4/57), respectively. The stroke, recurrent nerve palsy and paraplegia rates were 0, 0 and 7% (4/54), respectively. The ET technique has greatly facilitated the two-stage approach to the surgical treatment of combined diseases of the aortic arch and descending aorta. The initial learning curve, acute dissections, re-do and concomitant procedures partially explain the higher mortality rate. Despite the development of new hybrid techniques, there is still a role for the classical ET in selected patients, particularly in the context of proven long-term results and cost effectiveness.
    European journal of cardio-thoracic surgery: official journal of the European Association for Cardio-thoracic Surgery 07/2013; · 2.40 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Acute type A aortic dissection (AADA) is a surgical emergency. In patients with aortic arch and descending aorta (DeBakey type I) involvement, performing a total aortic arch replacement with frozen elephant trunk (FET) for supposedly better long-term results is controversial. We hereby present our results. From February 2004 to August 2013, 52 patients with acute aortic dissection DeBakey type I received a FET procedure at our centre (43 males, age 59.21 ± 11.67 years). All patients had an intimal tear in the aortic arch and/or proximal descending aorta. Concomitant procedures were Bentall (n = 15) and aortic valve repair (n = 30). Cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB), X-clamp and cardiac arrest times were 262 ± 64, 159 ± 45 and 55 ± 24 min, respectively. The 30-day mortality rate was 13% (n = 7). Stroke and re-thoracotomy for bleeding were 12% (n = 6) and 23% (n = 12), respectively. Postoperative recurrent nerve palsy and spinal cord injury rates were 10% (5 of 52) and 4% (2 of 52), respectively. Follow-up was 40 ± 24 months. During follow-up, no patient died and no patient required a reoperation for the aortic arch. Our results with FET in AADA show acceptable results. Total aortic arch replacement with an FET in AADA patients does demand high technical skills. In spite of this, we believe FET improves long-term outcomes in cases of AADA with intima tear or re-entry in the aortic arch or the descending aorta (DeBakey type I). Modern grafts with four side branches as well as sewing collars for the distal anastomosis have helped to further 'simplify' the FET implantation. However, such a strategy is not appropriate in all AADA cases; it should be implemented only in experienced centres and only if absolutely necessary.
    European journal of cardio-thoracic surgery: official journal of the European Association for Cardio-thoracic Surgery 05/2014; · 2.40 Impact Factor
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    Annals of cardiothoracic surgery. 03/2013; 2(2):205-11.