Cardiac Surgery

Thoracic Aortic Graft

Boston Medical Center's Cardiac Surgery and Vascular Surgery programs specialize in the minimally invasive treatment of aortic aneurysms that occur in the chest area. Boston Medical Center is a multidisciplinary environment, bringing together nationally known experts in both cardiac and vascular care. Our physicians and other clinicians work closely together to evaluate, diagnose, and treat your disorders to see that you receive the highest quality care in a nationally recognized facility. Nothing illustrates our collaborative care better than the way in which our Cardiac Surgery and Vascular Surgery departments interact when you are diagnosed with a thoracic aortic aneurysm.

What is a thoracic aortic graft?
A thoracic aortic graft is a slender fabric tube supported by metal wires that is inserted in the thoracic aorta to prevent a thoracic aortic aneurysm from bursting. The stent graft forms a tight seal with the healthy artery above and below the aneurysm, preserving blood flow through the artery while protecting it from the force of blood pressure so that it eventually shrinks.

A thoracic aortic aneurysm is a dangerous bulge in a weakened part of the aorta located in your chest area. Your aorta is the largest artery in your body that carries blood away from the heart. Shaped like a walking cane, your aorta runs from your heart through your chest (thorax) and abdomen and branches off into important organs before splitting into arteries that go to each of your legs.

Traditional surgery for a thoracic aneurysm is the main method of treatment, especially if the aneurysm has grown large or is causing symptoms. But a less invasive approach is also available.

Working closely together, Boston Medical Center's Vascular Surgery and Cardiac Surgery programs offer this minimally invasive approach, called endovascular stent grafting. Endovascular stent grafting is a state-of-the-art, minimally invasive procedure for treating aneurysms of the descending aorta.

The term "endovascular" refers to a group of minimally invasive procedures that allow your doctor to treat problems in the heart or the blood vessels from within the vessels themselves by using special technologies and instruments. Boston Medical Center uses the GORE TAG thoracic endoprosthesis. The procedure requires only a small incision, or puncture, in the artery or vein. To insert the thoracic aortic graft, the stent graft is placed on the end of a long, thin tube called a catheter. It is then guided through catheters that have been inserted into an incision in your groin and directed through your veins to the location in the thoracic aorta where the aneurysm is occurring.

What are the advantages to minimally invasive thoracic aortic graft?
Minimally invasive procedures offer many benefits over traditional surgery. These less invasive procedures are usually appropriate for patients who have other conditions that would keep them from having traditional surgery. The graft is inserted through a small incision in the groin area; therefore, the patient typically experiences less pain than that involved in open surgical procedures. Other advantages include:

  • Minimal scarring at that site of insertion;
  • Fewer complications;
  • Shorter stay in the intensive care unit;
  • Shorter hospital stay;
  • Quicker recovery time; and
  • Faster return to normal activities.

The Boston Medical Center difference
Drawing on our long history of exceptional cardiac services, Boston Medical Center provides quality care in a state-of-the-art environment. A pioneer in cardiac surgery, Boston Medical Center is one of the leading programs in the United States. In addition to providing a full range of traditional cardiac surgical treatments, our attention to the most current yet proven techniques and technologies places Boston Medical Center's Cardiac Surgery program at the leading edge of innovative surgical and minimally invasive treatments.

Your care is our top priority. That's why we use a collaborative care approach. A highly specialized and expertly skilled group of cardiac surgeons, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and surgical nurses work together to ensure that you receive the treatment that's right for you and a patient experience that is second to none. We partner with you, your cardiologist, and other physicians to provide you with the most advanced and effective cardiac care available in New England.



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