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Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital, Thomas Drive, L14 3PE
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Aorto-Vascular Medicine and Surgery

Aortic Surgery Team

The Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm Service at Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital is one of the busiest specialist thoracic aortic services in the UK providing comprehensive care for patients with complex aortic disease. 

Four surgeons with a specialist interest in thoracic aortic surgery operate on more than 220 patients per year. 

At the centre of the service is the Aneurysm Clinic which has well over 2000 operated patients under follow-up and another 1000 under surveillance. Patients are discussed at a monthly multidisciplinary team (MDT) meeting which includes cardiac surgeons, vascular surgeons, intensivists and physicians ensuring appropriate bespoke patient centred care.

Facilities include a specialist hybrid theatre allowing hybrid procedures using stents and conventional surgery. A 24/7 specialist aortic on-call service is available 365 days per year.

We are also involved in research and innovation through collaboration with The University of Liverpool and multiple other organisations, including The Royal Brompton Hospital through The Institute of Cardiovascular Medicine and Science (ICMS) to improve the care we offer.

Training is important to us and we have had a succession of aortic fellows from around the UK and the world who have spent time with our team. Patients are supported by a specialist Aortic Nurse Practitioner and a regular Patient Forum.

Regular MDTs are available including:

  1. Distal Aorta MDT
  2. Proximal Aorta MDT
  3. Aortopathy MDT

And starting in 2020:

  1. Regional Teleconferencing Aortovascular MDT

Please contact Steve Akrigg (steven.akrigg@lhch.nhs.uk), Aortic Administrative Coordinator, to refer patient in for discussion.


Current News

June 2020

  • The Team has been exploring the utility of the so-called i-Knife (intelligent knife) in guiding operations on the aorta. This is an exciting development, previously used mainly in oncology surgery to identify tumour margins during operations (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iknife ), but now proving potentially  helpful in aortic surgery to identify abnormal tissue.
  • The preliminary data was accepted for presentation at the UK Society for Cardiothoracic Surgery (March 2020) and the New York American Association of Thoracic Surgeons (April 2020) – both cancelled due to COVID restrictions.

January 2020

  • We're delighted that our hybrid theatre (Theatre B) has now been upgraded, allowing better imaging, more complex intervention and safer radiation exposure for patients and staff. 

December 2019

  • Our MEP Team (Lee Robertson and Gary Theobald) were recognised at the LHCH annual awards ceremony for their contribution to service innovation within the Trust. They have also been nominated for a national award through NCBC – Congratulations!
  • Celia Ireland (Aortic SCP), Una Ahern (Aortic ANP), Steve Akrigg (Aortic Administrator), Lee Robertson (MEP) and Gary Theobald (MEP) have all submitted work to the nations Society for Cardiothoracic Surgeons Meeting in Wales (March 2020) and all have been accepted for presentations – Congratulations!

August 2019: 

  • Mr Amer Harky (Trainee Surgeon) has had the latest research from LABB Group, on biochemical and mechanical patterns of aortic wall destruction in acute Type A aortic dissection, accepted for presentation at the American Heart Association Meeting in the USA (November 2019).

July 2019: 

  • Dr Akhtar Riaz (LABB Group) won the Best Basic Sciences Abstract at the Liverpool Aortic Surgery Symposium (2019). He presented bio mechanical data in the aortic wall make-up of patients with aneurysmal disease. The decision was made by Professor Joseph Coselli.

June 2019:

  • Liverpool Aortic Surgery Symposium (LASS 8) held. 

March 2019:

  • Research at LHCH has attracted two awards at the recent SCTS 2019 meeting in London. Mr Theologou and Dr Akhtar both presented work which was acknowledged as worthy of an award.
  • The Liverpool Aortic Surgery Symposium (LASS 8) is in the final stage of organisation with an exciting international faculty and planned for June 28th and 29th 2019.