Serious lower extremity venous injury management with ligation: Prospective overview of 63 patients

Kurtoglu M., Yanar H., Taviloglu K., Sivrikoz E., Plevin R., Aksoy M.

AMERICAN SURGEON, vol.73, no.10, pp.1039-1043, 2007 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 73 Issue: 10
  • Publication Date: 2007
  • Journal Name: AMERICAN SURGEON
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.1039-1043
  • Istanbul University Affiliated: Yes


Management of lower extremity venous trauma using repair or ligation has been an area of controversy during the past decades. However, in unstable patients or if primary repair is technically impossible as a result of extensive disruption of the vein, ligation is recommended. This study investigated the effects of venous ligation on major veins in the lower extremities when primary repair is impossible as a result of extensive laceration of the vein. Between January 2001 and April 2004, 63 patients with Grade III and IV venous injuries were observed prospectively. Compression ultrasonography was performed postoperatively on the fifth day, once before discharge, and at the 3-month visit to assess deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and the patency of arterial repair. If DVT was present, the patient was given an oral anticoagulant (warfarin Na) for 3 months (international normalized ratio, 2.0-3.0), and Class II compression stockings (Sigvaris-212, Ganzoni, Switzerland) were used for 1 year. Follow-up visits occurred at 1, 3, 6, and 12 months and at 6-month intervals thereafter. Combined arterial and venous injuries were present in 50 (79.4%) patients and pure venous injuries were present in 13 (20.6%) patients. DVT developed in 49 patients (77.7%; postoperative n = 37 [58.7%], late n = 12 [19%]). Three arterial restenoses (4.7%) and one pseudoaneurysm (1.6%) of the superficial femoral artery developed. Five early (prophylactic) and two late (compartment syndrome) fasciotomies were performed. Postoperative edema was seen in 56 (88.8%) patients and wound infection was seen in 19 patients (30.1%; n = 18 superficial, n = 1 deep). Two amputations (3.2%) were performed. One patient (1.7%) died as a result of irreversible shock. After a median of 18 months, 25 patients were classified with Clinical Etiology, Anatomy, Pathology classification: 10 legs C-0, seven legs C-2, and eight legs C-3. No severe postthrombophlebitic syndrome was observed. Early leg swelling after venous ligation was the most common morbidity. We observed no significant sequelae of chronic venous insufficiency, and venous ligation had no detrimental effect on associated arterial repair. In cases of DVT, anticoagulation with low-molecular-weight heparin and oral anticoagulants should begin immediately and continue for 3 months along with compression stocking support for 1 year.