Background: Endovascular repair of thoracic aortic disease continues to evolve since FDA approval of the first thoracic endograft in the United States in March 2005. Certain anatomic characteristics, including adequacy of arterial access, remain a significant limiting factor in thoracic endovascular repair. In clinical trials evaluating thoracic endografts, vascular access complications occurred in >20% of cases. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the arterial access and the selective use of the ascending aorta for thoracic endograft placement. Method: A retrospective review was performed for patients who underwent thoracic endograft placement between May 2005 and April 2009 (4 years since FDA approval of the first thoracic endograft). Patient records were reviewed for the indication for the procedure, type of arterial access, technical success, and access-related complications. Results: Seventy-nine thoracic endografts were placed during the study period. The indications for endograft placement included 53 aneurysms, 10 traumatic lesions, 6 endoleaks, 4 dissections, 3 penetrating ulcers, 2 bleeding aortic fistulas, and 1 thoracic diverticulum. Retrograde access was used in 70 cases (89%): 60 femoral (76%) and 10 aortoiliac (13%). Antegrade access through a 10-mm polyester graft anastomosed to the ascending aorta was used in nine cases (11%). These procedures included endograft placement with proximal elephant trunk creation in six cases, endograft-alone in two cases, and combination with proximal arch reconstruction/debranching in one case. There was 100% technical success for all cases. The overall access-related complication rate was 6%. There were no complications with antegrade access through the ascending aorta or with aortoiliac access. There were five complications in the femoral access group (three iliac artery dissection, one iliac artery injury, and one femoral artery injury). Conclusions: Access selection is an important part of the preoperative planning of endovascular procedures. Choosing the most appropriate access for a patient will decrease the access-associated complication rate. In addition, selected patients with poor aortoiliac access and those that require debranching or elephant trunk procedures may benefit from antegrade access.