Aortic surgery is a type of heart surgery where the aorta (the main artery leading from the heart to the rest of the body) is diseased and needs to be replaced. This type of operation is usually performed for aortic aneurysms or aortic dissections.
Depending on the type and extent of aortic disease, the operation to replace the aorta can be performed through the breastbone or the left side of the chest. The heart-lung machine may be required. The diseased aorta is removed, and usually replaced with a graft made of polyster. This graft is very durable and will not tear or wear out over time. Your surgeon will discuss the specifics of the operation with you.