World Journal of Surgery

, Volume 38, Issue 9, pp 2258–2266 | Cite as

Relevance of Surgery after Embolization of Gastrointestinal and Abdominal Hemorrhage

  • Gernot KöhlerEmail author
  • Oliver Owen Koch
  • Stavros A. Antoniou
  • Franz Mayer
  • Michael Lechner
  • Leo Pallwein-Prettner
  • Klaus Emmanuel



Gastrointestinal and abdominal bleeding can lead to life-threatening situations. Embolization is considered a feasible and safe treatment option. The relevance of surgery has thus diminished in the past. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the role of surgery in the management of patients after embolization.


We performed a retrospective single-center analysis of outcomes after transarterial embolization of acute abdominal and gastrointestinal hemorrhage between January 2009 and December 2012 at the Sisters of Charity Hospital, Linz. Patients were divided into three groups, as follows: upper gastrointestinal bleeding (UGIB), lower gastrointestinal bleeding (LGIB), and abdominal hemorrhage.


Fifty-four patients with 55 bleeding events were included. The bleeding source could be localized angiographically in 80 %, and the primary clinical success rate of embolization was 81.8 % (45/55 cases). Early recurrent bleeding (<30 days) occurred in 18.2 % (10/55) of the patients, and delayed recurrent hemorrhage (>30 days) developed in 3.6 % (2/55). The mean follow-up was 8.4 months, and data were available for 85.2 % (46/54) of the patients. Surgery after embolization was required in 20.4 % of these patients (11/54). Failure to localize the bleeding site was identified as predictive of recurrent bleeding (p = 0.009). More than one embolization effort increased the risk of complications (p = 0.02) and rebleeding (p = 0.07).


Surgery still has an important role after embolization in patients with gastrointestinal and abdominal hemorrhage. One of five patients required surgery in cases of early and delayed rebleeding or because of ischemic complications (2/55 both had ischemic damage of the gallbladder) and bleeding consequences.


Clinical Success Rate Gastroduodenal Artery Ischemic Complication Bleeding Source Endoscopic Hemostasis 
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Copyright information

© Société Internationale de Chirurgie 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gernot Köhler
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Oliver Owen Koch
    • 1
    • 2
  • Stavros A. Antoniou
    • 3
  • Franz Mayer
    • 4
  • Michael Lechner
    • 4
  • Leo Pallwein-Prettner
    • 5
  • Klaus Emmanuel
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of General and Visceral SurgerySisters of Charity HospitalLinzAustria
  2. 2.Teaching Hospital of the Universities of Graz and InnsbruckGraz and InnsbruckAustria
  3. 3.Center for Minimally Invasive SurgeryHospital NeuwerkMoenchengladbachGermany
  4. 4.Department of SurgeryParacelsus Medical UniversitySalzburgAustria
  5. 5.Department of Diagnostic and Interventional RadiologySisters of Charity HospitalLinzAustria

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