Background: Although several methods of repair of extremity venous injuries have been shown to be efficacious, patency rates have varied significantly from center to center.
Methods: A retrospective review was made of treatment outcomes of adult and pediatric patients with major venous injuries of the lower extremity.
Results: From 1997 to 2002, 82 patients sustained 86 major lower extremity venous injuries. Venous injuries were treated with primary repair in 27, complex repair in 37 (autogenous vein, 10, and ringed polytetrafluoroethylene [PTFE], 27) and ligation in 20. Prior to repair, temporary intraluminal venous shunts were used in 18 patients. Follow-up duplex imaging or venography or both were performed on 42 extremities at a mean of 10.9 +/- 7.1 days after repair with an overall patency rate of 73.8% (primary repair 76.5%; autogenous vein graft 66.7%; and PTFE 73.7%).
Conclusions: Overall early patency rate of venous repairs performed by an experienced trauma team is similar irrespective of the type of repair. The use of temporary intraluminal shunts is acceptable in selected circumstances, while ringed PTFE grafts are reasonable alternatives when the contralateral saphenous vein is too small.