The frozen elephant trunk technique has revolutionized aortic arch repair to enable more extensive arch and descending thoracic aortic treatment in a single setting. We review the current evidence supporting the use of the Thoraflex Hybrid (Terumo Aortic, FL, USA) device and discuss advantages, pitfalls and future design considerations.
Keywords: aneurysm; aortic arch repair; aortic dissection; cardiac surgery; devices; frozen elephant trunk.
Lay abstract Disease of the aorta, the biggest blood vessel in the body, is challenging. In recent years, new technologies such as the frozen elephant trunk (FET) have improved the treatment of patients with these complicated diseases. The FET is a hybrid device, made of medical fabrics and a covered metal stent (a tube inserted into the blood vessel to keep it open). In this paper, we provide an in-depth review of a FET device known as Thoraflex Hybrid (Terumo Aortic, FL, USA). We discuss its advantages and pitfalls as well as future areas of research.