What Are the Risks of Thoracic Aorta Surgery?


Quick Answer

Risks of thoracic aorta surgery are bleeding, graft infection, heart attack and irregular heartbeat, reports MedlinePlus. Some patients experience kidney damage, paralysis and stroke. Death after thoracic aorta surgery occurs in about 5 to 10 percent of patients.

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Full Answer

Risks and complications of thoracic aorta surgery depend on the general health of the patient, the length of the surgery and the extent of the repair, reports Cleveland Clinic. After stenting, a patient may suffer damage to the vessels supplying blood to the legs, necessitating another surgery, according to MedlinePlus.

Patients may suffer from graft infection after a thoracic aortic surgery, though this risk is small, according to Massachusetts General Hospital. Thoracic aortic surgery may injure the spinal cord, causing paralysis, notes Cleveland Clinic.

A relatively new procedure known as endovascular surgery carries the risk of blood leaking from the graft, also known as endoleak, according to The Society of Thoracic Surgeons. Other complications of endovascular surgery include infection and problems with the stent graft, states WebMD. About 15 percent of patients require a second procedure after going through endovascular surgery. However, the minimally invasive endovascular surgery may help certain high-risk patients avoid some of the risks associated with a conventional open thoracic aorta surgery.

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