The retroperitoneal, left flank approach to the supraceliac aorta for difficult and repeat aortic reconstructions

Joseph L. Mills, Roy M. Fujitani, Spence M. Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Between 1986 and 1990, 11 patients with relative or absolute contraindications to standard infrarenal reconstructions underwent supraceliac aortofemoral bypass. The operation was performed through a left-flank incision extended into the eleventh intercostal space with retroperitoneal and extrapleural dissection. Indications included multiple failed infrarenal reconstructions in four patients, previous removal of infected aortofemoral bypass graft with failure of extra-anatomic bypass in five patients, prior para-aortic lymph node dissection and radiotherapy in one patient, and aortic aneurysmal disease proximal to the renal arteries in one patient. Bypass conduits included either a bifurcated Dacron graft or a tube graft to the left femoral artery with a femorofemoral cross-over graft; concomitant left renal artery reconstruction was performed in three patients. The mean supraceliac cross-clamp time was 24 minutes, and only one patient experienced transient postoperative acute tubular necrosis. There was no operative mortality. The graft limb patency was 95% after mean follow-up extending to 17 months (range: 5 months to 5 years). We conclude that the supraceliac aorta is a useful inflow source for aortofemoral reconstruction in difficult repeat cases. It can be approached easily without thoracotomy and avoids difficult infrarenal aortic dissection in a scarred field. The tunneling is easier than with descending thoracic aorta or ascending aorta inflow sources. In addition, this bypass is likely to be more durable than inflow reconstructions based on the axillary artery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)638-642
Number of pages5
JournalThe American Journal of Surgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1991
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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