Two Common Techniques to Protect Brain during Aortic Aneurysm Repair Surgery

  • Analysis
  • 03-November-2020

According to a research report published by a group of researchers from the University Of Miami Miller School Of Medicine, the two most commonly used methods applied to protect the brain during the repair of ascending aortic aneurysm are considered to be equally effective.

The ascending aortic aneurysm is known to be an abnormal bulge in one part of the aorta, which is labeled as the main blood vessel carrying the oxygenated blood from the heart to the other body parts. The replacement of a defective aortic valve is involved in the repair of the ascending aorta surgically.

The circulation process is stopped during the surgery process. When the circulation is stopped, the brain needs to be kept cold, and a constant blood source must be provided to it. It is generally done in two ways, either with retrograde or antegrade cerebral perfusion, as stated by the author of the study hailing from the Miller School of Medicine.

Retrograde cerebral profusion involves pumping the blood in the backward direction through the veins of the superior vena cava into the brain. On the other hand, antegrade cerebral profusion refers to the process of pumping blood right into the carotid arteries. In the retrograde method, surgeons reroute the cold blood flow into the brain temporarily through the superior vena cava, contrary to the normal flow. In the antegrade cerebral profusion method, blood flow is directed into each of the arteries going to the arms, and the brain and cold blood are pumped in the usual direction.

The traditional surgical replacement method involves the sternum division to obtain access to the heart, and surgeons performing the conventional method for replacing the ascending aorta use either the retrograde or antegrade approach.
Patients needing to replace their aortic aneurysm need to know all the available options before undergoing surgery. Patients need to pick an experienced surgeon to smoothen the surgery process to achieve the best possible outcome.

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