MUSC First in the Southeast to Perform Aortic Arch Surgery with New Device | national news


CHARLESTON — Following the recent U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval of the Thoraflex Hybrid frozen elephant trunk device for the treatment of patients with complex aortic arch disease, MUSC Health announced that it is the first medical center in the Southeast to implant the commercially available device.

Thoraflex Hybrid is a single-use medical device, combining a Gelweave polyester graft with a self-expanding Nitinol stent. It is used for open surgical repair or replacement of damaged or diseased vessels in the aortic arch and repair of the descending thoracic aorta with or without ascending aortic involvement, aneurysm and/or dissection . The aortic arch is the upper part of the main artery, the aorta, which carries blood away from the heart. Arc-shaped, it connects the ascending aorta and the descending aorta. Diseases of the aortic arch are life-threatening and require surgery.

The implant was performed by Sanford Zeigler, MD, assistant professor Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery at MUSC and medical director of the Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit (CVICU) at MUSC Health. “Patients with complex aortic arch disease would typically require two complex open operations,” Zeigler said. “Now, with Thoraflex Hybrid, we can treat patients who are at high risk of rupture with a device that has the primary benefit of requiring a one-step procedure, minimizing the time the body has no flow. blood during surgery and minimizing blood loss, improving patient outcomes overall,” said Zeigler.

The patient, Frederick Deribas, first noticed symptoms a few months ago. He thought he had a hernia, but when his doctor couldn’t find proof, she ordered an ultrasound, which showed a tear in his femoral artery. He was then referred to MUSC Health for further evaluation, where doctors discovered an aortic dissection, which had grown to a concerning size.

“Since Mr. Deribas was not in an emergency situation, we were lucky enough to be able to do it as a planned operation, giving the patient time to focus on his strength and lose some weight. to optimize her surgical outcome,” Zeigler said. “The procedure was very successful; the device worked well and Mr. Deribas is recovering well.

He’s doing so well, in fact, that he came home from the hospital four days after the operation. Zeigler said 10 years ago a patient was in hospital for seven to 10 days after major surgery for aortic arch disease.

“Never in my life did I think I would feel so good after such a major operation,” Deribas said. “I am very grateful to Dr. Zeigler and my primary care provider for referring me to MUSC Health. They saved my life.

Zeigler explained that rapid recovery is partly related to the Thoraflex device, partly due to the CVICU team at MUSC Health refining and enhancing his enhanced recovery after heart surgery procedures, and partly due to the right attitude and desire. to recover from his patient.

“He did a lot of hard work before the operation,” Zeigler said. “He got in shape, lost weight and overall had a great attitude. It was a pleasure to take care of him. »

About MUSC

Founded in 1824 in Charleston, MUSC is the only comprehensive academic healthcare system in the state, with a unique mission to preserve and optimize human life in South Carolina through education, research and patient care. Each year, MUSC educates more than 3,000 students across six colleges—dentistry, graduate, health professions, medicine, nursing, and pharmacy—and trains more than 850 residents and fellows in its healthcare system. MUSC provided more than $327.6 million in research funding in fiscal year 2021, leading the state in overall research funding. MUSC also leads the state in funding federal and state institutes of health, with more than $220 million. For more information on academic programs, visit

As a health care system of the Medical University of South Carolina, MUSC Health is dedicated to providing the highest quality and safest patient care while educating and training generations of health care providers. health and exceptional leaders to serve the people of South Carolina and beyond. Patient care is provided at 14 hospitals with approximately 2,500 beds and five additional hospital sites in development, more than 350 telehealth sites and connectivity to patient homes, and nearly 750 care sites located in all regions of Carolina from South. In 2022, for the eighth consecutive year, US News & World Report named MUSC Health the #1 hospital in South Carolina. To learn more about clinical patient services, visit

MUSC and its affiliates have collective annual budgets of $5.1 billion. The approximately 25,000 members of the MUSC team include professors, doctors, specialist providers, scientists, students, affiliates and world-class care team members who provide education, research and state-of-the-art patient care.


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