Complex aortic disease: Changes in perception, evaluation and management

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Complex aortic disease continues to have a high mortality and morbidity despite advances in medical and surgical treatment. Repair of thoracoabdominal aneurysms, treatment of patients with connective tissue disorders, and the approach to dissections of the ascending and descending aorta have evolved over time; however, the results of intervention in all but highly specialized centers remain poor. As vascular surgeons, our role must extend beyond that of the pure technician; we have been vested with the life-long care of these patients and, therefore, have a responsibility to the patient in addition the scientific community and society at large to create a strategy for management that serves all three interests justly. We will outline some of the changes in the conceptual approach that we consider important to the treatment of complex aortic disease.

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