Vein patch rupture after carotid endarterectomy: A survey of the Western Vascular Society members
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To determine the prevalence, demographics and morbidity of vein patch rupture, the authors polled members of the Western Vascular Society. Forty-eight surgeons (53% of the members) reported an experience with 23,873 carotid operations. A vein patch was used in 1,760 operations (7.4%), and rupture of the patch occurred in 13 patients (0.7%), 10 women and three men. Indications for the patch were a small artery in 10 patients and restenosis in three. Saphenous vein was used for all patches and was harvested from the ankle in 12 patients and from the groin in one patient. All ruptures occurred from a split in the vein patch. Hypertension was present in seven of the 13 patients. None of the ruptures were associated with infection. Two ruptures occurred on the first postoperative day, six on the second day, three on the third day, one on the eighth day, and one on the twenty-first day. Four patients died: airway obstruction (1), hemorrhagic cerebral infarction (1), and myocardial infarction (2) were the causes. Three had a stroke and survived, one had a retinal embolus, and five underwent reoperation without complication. Vein patch of the carotid artery is used infrequently by members of the Western Vascular Society. The incidence of rupture of the patch is low (0.7%), but when it occurs, there is significant mortality (30.7%), and morbidity (30.7%). Patients with a vein patch should be observed in the hospital for three days after endarterectomy because rupture demands immediate reoperation.
Key wordsVein patch angioplasty rupture, vein patch carotid endarterectomy Western Vascular Society vascular surgery
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