Objective/background: Vascular graft infection is a serious and challenging complication. In situations when neither traditional radical surgery nor conservative negative pressure wound therapy (VAC) alone, are considered feasible or safe, for example due to bleeding, adverse anatomy, or severe comorbidity, a novel hybrid procedure was developed. The EndoVAC technique consists of (i) relining of the infected reconstruction with a stent graft; (ii) surgical revision (without clamping the reconstruction); and (iii) VAC therapy, to permit granulation and secondary delayed healing, and long-term antibiotic treatment. The aim of the study is to report long-term follow up data of this new treatment modality.
Methods: From November 2007 to June 2015, 17 EndoVAC procedures were performed in 16 patients (eight men, aged 16-91 years): six infected carotid patches after carotid endarterectomy, three infected neck deviations, two infected femoro-popliteal bypasses, three infected patches after femoral thrombo-endarterectomy, and two infected vascular accesses. Surveillance was performed routinely every 3-6 months and included clinical examination, hematologic tests, duplex ultrasonography, and imaging techniques, including 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography/computed tomography.
Results: Primary technical success rate was 100%. Antibiotics were prescribed for a median of 3 months (range 1-20 months). The median duration of VAC treatment was 14 days (range 9-57 days). Complications included early, transient stroke (n = 1), temporary hypoglossal palsy (n = 1), and late, asymptomatic occluded bypasses (n = 2), stent graft thrombosis (n = 1), and moderate carotid stenosis (n = 1). After a median of 5 years (range 1-90 months) of follow up, all patients had healed graft infections with no recurrence was observed. Eight patients died as a result of severe comorbidities, unrelated to the infection or hybrid procedure, 1 month-7 years after treatment.
Conclusion: The EndoVAC technique is an alternative, less invasive, option for treatment of infected vascular reconstructions in selected cases, when neither traditional radical surgery, nor conservative simple negative pressure wound therapy are considered feasible or safe. The exact indications for this alternative hybrid treatment need to be established.
Keywords: Access site infection; Hybrid technique; Negative pressure wound therapy; Stent graft; Vacuum assisted wound closure; Vascular graft infection.
Copyright © 2016 European Society for Vascular Surgery. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.