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For more than 50 years, open surgery has been the standard of care to repair problems with the aorta. During an open surgery, surgeons directly access the aorta through an incision in the chest or abdomen or both. The surgeon replaces the damaged section of the aorta with a tube-like graft made from synthetic material.
Experts in Open Surgery at the UCLA Aortic Center
The experts at the UCLA Aortic Center are national leaders in treatment of aortic disorders. From aortic aneurysms to traumatic aortic injuries, our surgeons have performed thousands of open surgeries to repair many types of aortic conditions. With modern operating facilities at Ronald Regan UCLA Medical Center and a highly trained team of post-operative caregivers, we strive to provide you with the highest level of care and comfort during your operation and recovery. Meet our expert team.
Benefits of Open Surgery
Open surgery requires a longer recovery and rehabilitation period but is a proven technique that provides patients with a durable, lasting aortic repair. Other benefits include:
- Proven effectiveness with long term experience
- Fewer post-operative imaging studies
Many open surgeries can now done using a more minimally invasive approach. Learn more about endovascular repair at the UCLA Aortic Center.
Is Open Surgery Right for Me?
Young, relatively healthy individuals are the best candidates for open surgical repair of the aorta.
What to Expect during Open Surgery
The type of open surgery you receive depends on your aortic disorder. During an open operation, surgeons make an incision nearby or directly over the surgical site, which may be the chest, abdomen or both. Many open surgeries involve the removal of the diseased part of the aorta and placement of a prosthetic graft--either a tube or a bifurcated (forked) graft—depending on whether the surgeon must replace some of the branch arteries. Surgeons at UCLA have extensive experience in open surgical repair of the aorta, particularly using a retroperitoneal approach, which can lead to faster discharge and recovery.
Here’s what to expect:
- You will have general anesthesia. A breathing tube will be used during surgery to regulate your breathing. You will not feel any pain or remember the procedure.
- Your surgeon makes an incision in your abdomen, side (retroperitoneal) and/or chest.
- Your surgeon clamps the arteries in the damaged site to stop the flow of blood through the aorta.
- Your surgeon will repair the damaged portion of the aorta and replace it with a tube-like synthetic prosthesis, suturing the end to healthy aortic tissue.
- After the diseased portion of the aorta has been replaced, your surgeon will close the incision.
- After your procedure you can expect to stay in the hospital for 5-10 days during the initial phase of your recovery. You may have to spend time in the ICU.
- A full recovery is usually expected 6-8 weeks after the operation.
Comprehensive Treatment Options at UCLA Aortic Center
Our doctors believe in patient-centered care. That’s why we take a personalized approach to diagnosis and treatment for aortic disease.