Background: Acute type A aortic dissection (ATAAD), is a surgical emergency often requiring intervention on the aortic root. There is much controversy regarding root management; aggressively pursuing a root replacement, versus more conservative approaches to preserve native structures. Methods: Electronic database search we performed through PubMed, Embase, SCOPUS, google scholar and Cochrane identifying studies that reported on outcomes of surgical repair of ATAAD through either root preservation or replacement. The identified articles focused on short- and long-term mortalities, and rates of re-operation on the aortic root. Results: There remains controversy on replacing or preserving aortic root in ATAAD. Current evidence supports practice of both trends following an extensive decision-making framework, with conflicting series suggesting favourable results with both procedures as the approach that best defines higher survival rates and lower perioperative complications. Yet, the decision to perform either approach remains surgeon decision and bound to the extent of the dissection and tear entries in strong correlation with status of the aortic valve and involvement of coronaries in the dissection. Conclusions: There exists much controversy regarding fate of the aortic root in ATAAD. There are conflicting studies for impact of root replacement on mortality, whilst some study’s report no significant results at all. There is strong evidence regarding risk of re-operation being greater when root is not replaced. Majority of these studies are limited by the single centred, retrospective nature of these small sample sized cohorts, further hindered by potential of treatment bias.
Background: During this SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, there has been unprecedented stress on health care systems, resulting in a change to how services are carried out. The most prominent question for healthcare professionals specialising in cardiac surgery is, should we operate during this pandemic, and to what extent ? Methods: As one of the biggest, specialised cardiac surgery centres in the UK, we researched the available published evidence surrounding this question, to formulate an answer. During this process we considered the potential risks of cardiac surgery during a pandemic on the patients, staff, the healthcare system, and the community. We also considered the immunological aspect of cardiac surgery patients and the risk it entails on them. Results We have discussed the available evidence and consequences of our findings, and we found Patients are subjected to greater risk of catching Covid-19 whilst being in hospital. Patient’s immunity is disrupted for up to 3 months post CPB, which makes them more vulnerable to catch the Covid-19 infection during admission and after discharge. Plus the burden on the whole healthcare system, by using the precious resources and occupying the necessary staff and hospital beds needed during the pandemic surge. Conclusion: Try and minimise cardiac surgery operations down to emergencies or unstable patients who have no other options apart from surgery, particularly during the surge stage of the pandemic. Strictly following structured pathways and protocols, updating relevant protocols with emerging new evidence.