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The Buffalo Trunk Technique for Aortic Arch Reconstruction

The Buffalo Trunk Technique for Aortic Arch Reconstruction

Annals of Thoracic Surgery 108(3): 680-686

The frozen elephant trunk technique facilitates repair of aortic arch and proximal descending aortic pathologic processes. Commercially available hybrid grafts may simplify this approach by allowing for a single suture line, potentially streamlining the distal anastomosis and improving operative times. However, these devices are currently not readily available in United States. We developed a surgical technique, the Buffalo Trunk, to simplify the frozen elephant trunk procedure that obviates the need for a hybrid graft and decreases operating times. Our technique uses a soft-branched graft along with a stent graft to create a distal anastomosis that incorporates the aorta, stent graft, and soft graft in a zone 2 arch reconstruction. Patient characteristics, operative times, and perioperative outcomes were analyzed. A total of 37 patients underwent the Buffalo Trunk procedure compared with 29 patients who underwent the traditional frozen elephant trunk. Bypass and circulatory arrest times were 34 and 18 minutes shorter, respectively, in the Buffalo Trunk group. Total blood transfusions were lower in the Buffalo Trunk group. The stroke rate was 5% and 30-day mortality occurred in 2 patients. No difference was noted in end-organ dysfunction, morbidity, and mortality between the two techniques. The benefits of a hybrid approach to the frozen elephant trunk can be attained without the complex industry-available technology as presented by our technique, the Buffalo Trunk. Evolution of this approach has facilitated shorter circulatory arrest time and subsequently overall decreased operative times without compromising outcomes.

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Accession: 066688117

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PMID: 30981849

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