Management of the difficult left subclavian artery during aortic arch repair
Management of the left subclavian artery (SCA) during aortic arch surgery is associated with several challenges, including preserving distal perfusion, achieving hemostasis and preventing posterior circulation stroke and spinal cord injury. The most common challenge remains its deep position in the chest, often exacerbated by posterior and apical displacement from an arch aneurysm. We discuss several management options consisting of pre-, intra- and post-operative strategies and their respective advantages, disadvantages and clinical outcomes. A clinical algorithm is proposed to help guide decision-making in managing the difficult left SCA during aortic arch repair.