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Surgical experience in descending thoracic aneurysmectomy with and without adjuncts to avoid ischemia.

Over the past twelve years, surgical treatment of descending thoracic aneurysms has been performed in 360 patients. Three different operative strategies were employed during resection to provide distal aortic perfusion by temporary bypass (Group 1, 75 patients) or shunt (Group 2, 22 patients) or to simplify the operative procedure with aortic cross-clamping alone (Group 3, 263 patients). The surgical results were determined primarily by patient-related and disease-related variables. Advanced age (older than 70 years), atherosclerotic cause, and emergency operation significantly increased the risks of early mortality and morbidity. The incidence of death (11.7%), paraplegia (6.5%), or renal failure (6%) was not reduced by the use of adjunctive perfusion, and bleeding complications increased significantly in Groups 1 and 2. Spinal cord injury was increased significantly by emergency operations, cross-clamp times exceeding 30 minutes, and extensive aneurysms (p less than 0.05). The risk of renal failure was increased by advanced age and atherosclerotic cause (p less than 0.05). With an experienced surgical team, the primary risks of descending thoracic aneurysmectomy are not influenced by the method of adjunctive perfusion, but are determined by patient factors such as the nature and extent of the aneurysm.

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