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June 1990

Fenestration Revisited: A Safe and Effective Procedure for Descending Aortic Dissection

Author Affiliations

From the Section of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Conn.

Arch Surg. 1990;125(6):786-790. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1990.01410180112018

• Although it was initially performed in 1935, aortic fenestration has been infrequently employed and reported in recent years. We have continued to use fenestration for descending aortic dissection with complicating organ ischemia (lower-extremity ischemia, renal ischemia, and paraplegia). Our technique involves complete transection of the infrarenal abdominal aorta, removal of a generous intimal flap proximally, and reconstitution of layers distally. We report our experience with 12 patients, all of whom survived the operative procedure. Nine patients were discharged from the hospital, and with a mean follow-up of 6.8 years, 7 are still alive. Fenestration immediately restored organ perfusion in all but 1 of the patients, and no patient died of late rupture. We recommend fenestration for descending aortic dissection in patients presenting with organ ischemia. Fenestration is not recommended for acute dissection with rupture or for chronic enlarging dissection.

(Arch Surg. 1990;125:786-790)