Thoracic Vascular Injuries: Operative Management in “Enemy” Territory
One of the features that distinguish a great surgeon from a good surgeon is the ability to remain calm under pressure, strongly direct a team of providers and stay focused on the mission at hand. Thoracic vascular injuries can make for good theater and subsequent tall tales when there is a successful outcome, but nowhere is it more critical to be in the “great surgeon” mindset than with the management of these unforgiving injuries. “Control” is the operative term. Despite the divergence of Vascular and General Surgery in the civilian sector, every combat Trauma Surgeon needs to have the basic vascular surgery knowledge and skillset to manage these injuries. Consultation with a Vascular Surgeon or transfer may not be an option.