Aortic dissection repair is surgery to mend a tear in the inner wall of the aorta, the large blood vessel that carries oxygen-rich blood from the heart to the vital organs. This type of tear weakens the aorta and can cause it to rupture. Because this is a potentially life-threatening condition, immediate surgery is often necessary.
Surgeons in the Division of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery at Cooper University Health Care provide exceptional care to repair aortic dissection. Our full range of treatment options includes an innovative, minimally invasive approach.
Thoracic Endovascular Aortic Repair (TEVAR)
Our surgeons have studied thoracic endovascular aortic repair (TEVAR) in clinical trials. We are now one of the only centers in the United States that offers this minimally invasive procedure for people with aortic dissection. To perform TEVAR, the surgeon:
- Makes a small incision in the groin to access the large artery supplying blood to each leg
- Places a guide wire in the artery and moves it to the location of the tear in the aorta, using X-ray guidance
- Threads a narrow tube, or catheter, over the guide wire. The catheter contains an endograft, or a metal-lined fabric tube, which the surgeon places next to the tear.
- Expands the endograft to seal off the tear, using metal attachments to permanently fix the device in place
Doctors perform TEVAR with general, regional, or local anesthesia. Endovascular treatments like TEVAR often allow a person to recover faster than with traditional open surgery. Patients also experience less pain and a lower risk of complications and death.
Open Surgery for Aortic Dissection Repair
Our surgeons may also perform open surgery, requiring an incision in the chest and general anesthesia, to repair aortic dissection. During aortic dissection repair, the surgeon:
- Removes as much of the damaged aorta as possible
- Blocks the entry of blood into the area
- Reconstructs the aorta with a synthetic tube, or graft
- Uses a small wire mesh tube, or stent, to reinforce the aorta, if necessary
If there is also damage to the aortic valve, which is the valve between the left ventricle of the heart and the aorta, surgeons may perform aortic valve replacement. A coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) may also be necessary if other arteries of the heart are involved.
To learn more about services available in the Division of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery or to schedule an appointment, please call 856.342.2151.
Refer a Patient
If you are a doctor who wants to refer a patient to the Division of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, please call 856.968.7067.