Thoracic Aortic Surgery

in L.A. and Hollywood Area

Dr. Alexander Marmureanu performs over 200 thoracic aortic surgeries annually with great rates of success.

Our Approach

How I Perform Thoracic Aortic Surgery

Prior to recommending thoracic aortic surgery, your physician will order some of the following tests and examination procedures in order to properly evaluate your condition and suggest the most appropriate treatment approach, as well as assess your overall health:

  • CT scan
  • blood tests
  • thoracic ultrasound
  • MRI
  • chest X-rays

The aim of this surgical procedure is to repair the damaged portion of the aorta. Depending on your condition, anatomy and overall health, you will qualify either for open surgery or for endovascular repair surgery.

Open Thoracic Aortic Surgery

After you receive general anesthesia, an incision will be made in the left side of your chest bone (sternum) in order to gain access to your aorta. Cardiac arrest might be induced prior to the proper repair and a heart-lung machine will take over the activity of your organs. However, this is not always necessary and will depend on the nature of your condition. If, for instance, a severe aortic aneurysm needs to be repaired, blood flow through the artery must be temporarily stopped in order to allow us to change the damaged section of your aorta with an artificial implant (graft). Following the repair of the problematic portion, the incision will be closed using several sutures (stitches) and a sterile dressing will be placed over you wound to prevent infection.

Endovascular Repair Surgery

While this is a minimally invasive procedure, which involves a shorter recovery period and a significantly reduced risk of complications, endovascular repair surgery is not always the most suitable treatment option for patients suffering from aortic conditions. They might be anatomically incompatible with what the intervention entails or their condition might be too complex or severe to be cured using this approach.

Endovascular repair surgery is performed under local or general anesthesia and is typically recommended for aneurysms. A puncture will be made in your leg (in the groin region), through which a catheter (a thin, flexible tube) equipped with a camera and other medical instruments is introduced. While the catheter is being directed towards your aorta, it will be filled with a special dye so that we will be able to observe its track through your blood vessels on the screen. The damaged portion of the artery will be carefully evaluated with the aid of the tube and we will subsequently choose the most suitable sleeve to be placed inside your aorta. This medical device will prevent the aneurysm to expand further and will also take the pressure off the aorta’s walls. After the sleeve is properly placed, its correct position will be ensured by injecting dye through the catheter one more time. Finally, your puncture will be closed with a plug.

call to Request an appointment

(310) 208-4400

Our Locations

Marina Del Rey Hospital

4650 Lincoln Blvd, Marina Del Rey, CA 90292

St. Vincent Medical Center

2131 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90057

Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center

757 Westwood Plaza, Los Angeles, CA 90095

(310) 825-9111
Cedar-Sinai Medical Center

8700 Beverly Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90048

Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center

1300 N Vermont Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90027

Centinela Freeman Regional Medical Center

555 E Hardy St, Inglewood, CA 90301

Olympia Medical Center

5900 W Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036

Providence Saint John's Health Center

2121 Santa Monica Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401


Our Patients

Who Needs Thoracic Aortic Surgery

Thoracic aortic surgery can efficiently resolve numerous aortic conditions and diseases. The most common affections for which this treatment procedure is employed are:

  • thoracic aortic aneurysms (saccular or fusiform aneurysms occurring on the ascending aorta, the aortic arch or the descending aorta)
  • aortic dissection
  • penetrating ulcers
  • aortic regurgitation
  • descending thoracic aneurysms
  • connective tissue disease
  • traumatic injuries concerning the aorta
  • bicuspid valve disease


What to Expect After Thoracic Aortic Surgery

Following open thoracic aortic surgery, you will be moved to the intensive care unit, where you will be constantly monitored by medical professionals for one or two days. You will generally be discharged from the hospital within a week. While you are hospitalized, you will be intubated for the first few days to promote a safe and effective recovery. Thus, you will notice two or more of these tubes attached to your body:

  • a breathing tube is attached to your airways, which will be removed shortly after the effects of anesthesia wear off
  • an IV line in your arm, through which you receive fluids and medication
  • pressure monitor lines attached to your veins and arteries, which monitor the activity of your heart and other vital signals
  • a urinary catheter, which will be removed when you are able to use the restroom on your own
  • one or multiple catheters inserted through your incision, with the aid of which excessive fluid will be drained from your chest cavity

You will also be given pain relieving medicine to improve your pain and discomfort, antibiotics to prevent infection, as well as anticoagulants while you are hospitalized. Complete recovery is achieved in approximately two months, during which you will need to pay special attention to a series of aspects in order to speed up the recovery process and avoid postoperative complications. Consequently, your physician will suggest the following:

  • Quit smoking or at least limit your tobacco use. However, it is not recommended to give up smoking within two weeks prior to your surgery, as quitting is usually associated with an increased production of mucus which will make you cough more often and thus intensify your postoperative pain.
  • You will be more aware of your heartbeat. This is absolutely normal after thoracic aortic surgery, as the heart will remain temporarily attached to your sternum, which will amplify the sound. If you are bothered by this symptom, you can buy a sound diffuser.
  • Maintain a healthy diet low in fats and cholesterol. If you are overweight, you will be guided towards an efficient weight loss program.
  • Exercise or engage in sports regularly as soon as you are allowed to practice physical activities to keep your heart and blood vessels healthy.
  • Take your medication for as long as it is required after the intervention.