Endovascular retrieval of an irrigation cannula from the thoracic aorta following cardiac surgery: A case report

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Abstract

Introduction Endovascular techniques to retrieve intravascular foreign bodies are a necessary component of the Vascular surgeon's skill set. We report the successful retrieval of an embolized irrigation cannula from the thoracic aorta following aortic valve replacement. Presentation of case The patient is an 81 year old male who underwent coronary artery bypass grafting and aortic valve replacement. Prior to closure, the aortotomy was irrigated with heparinized saline using a syringe with an olive tip irrigation cannula. When the syringe was handed back to the nursing staff, the tip was noted to be missing but could not be found. Prior to closure of the sternum, the field was searched again for the tip and thus the chest was closed. The missing instrument then prompted an intraoperative chest radiograph that demonstrated a metal irrigation cannula superimposed on the cardiac silhouette. Additionally, a transesophageal echocardiogram was performed, which demonstrated the irrigation cannula within the descending thoracic aorta. Right common femoral artery was accessed and a thoracic aortogram was performed demonstrating the cannula to be lodged in the descending thoracic aorta. Intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) was performed to exclude an aortic abnormality preventing the caudad migration of the cannula. No aortic pathology was identified. A tri-lobed snare was used to grasp the cannula at its tip and withdrawn into the right external iliac artery. The cannula was successfully removed through a transverse arteriotomy in the distal right external iliac artery. The patient's postoperative course was uneventful. Conclusion Endovascular retrieval of intravascular foreign bodies is minimally invasive, relatively simple, and carries minimal morbidity compared to conventional open surgical techniques. This unusual case demonstrates the importance of a working knowledge of techniques and instruments requisite for retrieval of intravascular foreign bodies.

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Thomas, B. K., Elmore, J. R., Garvin, R. P., & Ryer, E. J. (2015). Endovascular retrieval of an irrigation cannula from the thoracic aorta following cardiac surgery: A case report. International Journal of Surgery Case Reports, 16, 195–197. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijscr.2015.09.042

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