To facilitate exposure and retraction for retroperitoneal approach to the abdominal aorta, the patient is placed in a modified thoracotomy position, with the torso rotated 60 degrees up from the plane of the operating table, and the hips as horizontal as possible. A variation has the patient's chest at 90 degrees to the operating table, and the hips rotated 45 degrees posteriorly. The flatter the pelvis, the better the access to the groin. The patient is secured with wide tape and a deflatable beanbag. The incision crosses from the right side of the lower abdomen to beneath the 12th rib.
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