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"How I do it: utilization of high-pressure sealants in aortic reconstruction"

Journal of Cardiothoracic Surgery
Springer (Biomed Central Ltd.)
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1186/1749-8090-4-27
  • Research Article
  • Biology
  • Medicine


Background Suture-line hemostasis, reinforcement of friable tissue, and adhesion prevention are key concerns for patients undergoing cardiac surgery for aortic reconstruction. Failure to secure hemostasis at anastomotic junctures and reinforce fragile tissue may lead to increased blood loss, additional blood product requirements, increased operative time, and, in extreme cases, reoperation. Patients with aortic pathology may also be at higher risk for reoperation, and adhesion formation from prior surgery is an added risk at resternotomy. The advent of high-pressure sealants has been of benefit in helping to alleviate these perioperative challenges. Methods The author utilizes two high-pressure sealants for aortic reconstructive procedures. The first is made of two polymers of polyethylene glycol (PEG) [Coseal®, Baxter Healthcare, Corporation], and is used to secure anastomotic suture-line hemostasis and for adhesion prevention. The second is a bovine serum albumin-glutaraldehyde (BSAG) glue [BioGlue®, CryroLife, Inc.], used for the repair of dissected aortic tissue and in reinforcing ("tanning") fragile aortic tissues. The techniques for application in select aortic reconstruction procedures are described. Results To substantiate the hemostatic clinical benefit observed by the author, 60 consecutive major thoracic aortic operations in 57 patients in whom PEG sealant was used were retrospectively reviewed. Although comparisons with other agents were not performed for this descriptive report, bleeding results were very favorable for these types of operations. The strong clinical impression is that topical hemostatic application of PEG sealant to anastomotic suture lines is helpful in preventing bleeding. Conclusion In major aortic reconstructive procedures the need for anastomotic sealing performance, reinforcement of friable tissues, and adhesion prevention should not be underrated. High-pressure surgical sealants represent an important surgical adjunct, and the author has found the use of both PEG sealant and BSAG glue advantageous in aortic reconstruction and repair.

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