1985: left thoracotomy for reoperative coronary artery bypass procedures. 1993 update.
This paper describes our experience in performing saphenous vein bypass grafts to the circumflex coronary artery system with a left thoracotomy in 9 patients. Illustrative case reports demonstrate the spectrum of patients for whom this approach has been useful. The advantage of this technique is that it allows the surgeon to avoid the adhesions that make a redo sternotomy time-consuming and potentially dangerous when previously patent saphenous vein or internal mammary grafts are present. It is particularly useful for patients requiring grafting to the circumflex coronary artery system, especially if the patient is in relatively unstable condition and would benefit from rapid institution of cardiopulmonary bypass. The technique generally employs cannulation of the descending thoracic aorta for arterial inflow and of the main pulmonary artery for venous return. Usually the proximal end of the graft is easily placed to the left subclavian artery. Coronary anastomosis is performed on the cold (15 degrees C), fibrillating heart, and aortic cross-clamping and cardioplegic arrest have not been necessary. Venting is possible through the left atrial appendage should any rise in filling pressures occur. Saphenous vein or internal mammary artery may be used. All patients undergoing this technique have had expeditious discharge from the hospital and excellent relief of symptoms. The technique is an alternative to median sternotomy for properly selected patients.
Uppal, R; Mills, NL; Wechsler, AS; Smith, PK
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