Recent advances in thoraco-abdominal aortic aneurysm repair

Surgeon. 2010 Feb;8(1):28-38. doi: 10.1016/j.surge.2009.10.016.


Thoraco-abdominal aortic aneurysm repair remains a formidable challenge to vascular surgeons. The traditional repair of thoraco-laparotomy with aortic cross-clamping is associated with a high morbidity and mortality despite significant advances in perioperative critical care, anaesthetic and surgical techniques. The advent of the endovascular revolution has shown a marked paradigm in the approach to all aneurysm repairs. As a logical progression from the open repair, the St Mary's visceral hybrid repair combines traditional open techniques (retrograde visceral and renal revascularisation via mid-line laparotomy) with endovascular stent grafting, thereby avoiding the need for thoracotomy and aortic cross-clamping. In specialist centres, the results have been encouraging and easily comparable to the open repair. The technique has been used in several centres around the world and represents a robust, transferrable method of repairing thoraco-abdominal aortic aneurysms. Stent-grafting technologies have reached a point of sophistication that wholly endovascular methods of repairing thoraco-abdominal aortic aneurysms are being performed in several centres around the world. Although these stent grafts have to be customised to the individual patient and are only suitable for certain types of aneurysmal anatomies, they represent the future of thoraco-abdominal aortic aneurysm repair. We review the history of thoraco-abdominal aortic aneurysm repair, the exciting advances in their treatment and discuss our approach to the management of thoraco-abdominal aortic aneurysms in the 21st century.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aortic Aneurysm, Thoracic / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Laparotomy / trends*
  • Thoracic Surgical Procedures / trends*
  • Vascular Surgical Procedures / methods*
  • Vascular Surgical Procedures / trends