Ascending aortic cannulation for an antegrade central perfusion during surgery for type A aortic dissection is simple and can be performed within median sternotomy. This cannulation is performed routinely without problems in our hospital. Using our experience, the skills and pitfalls were clarified to make this challenging procedure successful.
29 cases of ascending aortic cannulation using the Seldinger technique for insertion were studied. All insertions were performed with the guidance of transesophageal echocardiography alone. The cannulas were inserted after decompressing the aorta by initiating cardiopulmonary bypass with femoral artery cannulation. From our experience, the skills required for this procedure are the abilities to carefully assess the needle insertion site preoperatively, sense resistance to needle insertion twice, and ensure the guide wire is in the descending aorta and distal arch. The pitfalls are entrance of the guide wire into the false lumen and dilatation of the false lumen during the insertion procedure.
There were no complications associated with ascending aortic cannulation. Regarding morbidity, 2 cases of brain infarction occurred. There were 3 hospital deaths unrelated to the procedure.
In surgery for type A aortic dissection, ascending aortic cannulation using the Seldinger technique is simple to perform. We found that some practical skills and precautions were required to make this procedure successful.