Trade in the hammer for a power driver—perspectives on the frozen elephant trunk repair for aortic arch disease
Like a power driver for which the bit can be changed for each screw that is turned, improvement of brain protection strategies and the development of hybrid techniques have provided us with the ability to offer tailored repair options for patients with complex thoracic disease involving the arch. Variations of the frozen elephant trunk operation have been the most versatile of the newer hybrid approaches to repair complex thoracic aortic pathology. The frozen elephant trunk procedure includes the use of circulatory arrest in combination with suturing a stentgraft into the arch, and may reduce the risk of stroke and endoleaks. This article describes various methods of performing the frozen elephant trunk procedure with a focus on preoperative considerations including the etiology of disease, the time and urgency of presentation, and the indications to operate.