Angiographically placed balloons for arterial control: a description of a technique

J Trauma. 1991 Dec;31(12):1671-7. doi: 10.1097/00005373-199112000-00018.


Obtaining proximal and distal control is essential in the repair of arterial injuries. Occasionally, the location of the injury makes this difficult, risks excessive blood loss, or requires wide exposure to obtain control. Recently, we have used percutaneously placed balloons as an aid to vascular control in 11 patients who had arterial injuries identified angiographically. The balloon is placed under fluoroscopic guidance and is then deflated. The balloon is reinflated intraoperatively at the time vascular control is needed. Five balloons were placed for inflow control in patients with very proximal subclavian artery injuries. All were then able to undergo successful repair through a limited supraclavicular incision without sternotomy or thoracotomy. Two were placed in the internal carotid artery to obtain distal control in injuries located at the base of the skull. Both injuries were then repaired without problems. Two patients had balloons placed for external iliac artery injuries located at the inguinal ligament, one for proximal and one for distal control. Both injuries were then repaired through a limited incision. Two additional patients who had arterial injuries identified began to bleed massively while in the angiography suite. Balloons were placed proximally to control bleeding during transport and dissection. There were no complications from balloon placement. All balloons functioned well, greatly limited blood loss, and allowed for repair through a limited incision. We feel this is a technique that can be utilized in selected cases of angiographically identified arterial injuries in which operative exposure is likely to be difficult, cause significant blood loss, or require an extensive incision and dissection.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Angiography*
  • Arteries / injuries*
  • Carotid Artery Injuries
  • Carotid Artery, Internal / diagnostic imaging
  • Catheterization*
  • Hemorrhage / therapy
  • Hemostasis, Surgical / methods
  • Hemostatic Techniques*
  • Humans
  • Iliac Artery / diagnostic imaging
  • Iliac Artery / injuries
  • Male
  • Subclavian Artery / diagnostic imaging
  • Subclavian Artery / injuries
  • Wounds and Injuries / diagnostic imaging
  • Wounds and Injuries / therapy