Vacuum-assisted extraction of ilio-caval and right heart masses: A 5-year single center experience

J Card Surg. 2020 Aug;35(8):1787-1792. doi: 10.1111/jocs.14711. Epub 2020 Jun 19.


Purpose: Despite paucity of data, there exists growing popularity of catheter-based extraction methods for intravascular thrombi and vegetations. We describe a large single center experience with vacuum-assisted extraction techniques (VAET) for right-sided intravascular and cardiac masses.

Methods: We retrospectively reviewed the perioperative course of patients undergoing VAET between 2014 and 2019. Primary outcomes were survival and freedom from recurrent bacteremia. Procedural success was a composite definition of survival, majority of mass extraction, absence of recurrent bacteremia, and valve function not requiring further intervention during index hospitalization.

Results: Of the entire cohort (n = 58), 48% and 52% underwent VAET for vegetations and sterile thrombi, respectively. Of those with positive cultures, the most common organism isolated was Staphylococcus aureus (48%). Preoperative active bacteremia was present in 36% (21/58) and of these patients, 76% (16/21) had neither recurrent nor persistent bacteremia post-op. The majority of masses (67%, 38/58) were debulked with an average reduction in size of 42%. Conversion to open surgery occurred in 3.5% (2/58). Intraoperative and 30-day survival were 98% (57/58) and 90% (28/31), respectively. Overall success was 86% (50/58). The prevalence of moderate/severe tricuspid regurgitation was 37% pre-op and 61% post-op. Average length of intensive care unit and overall hospital stay was 5.6 and 16 days, respectively.

Conclusions: In this single center experience, VAET was conducted safely with a high degree of success and freedom from short-term recurrent bacteremia. This minimally invasive procedure is an attractive alternative to traditional open techniques for removal of right-sided intravascular and cardiac masses.

Keywords: cardiovascular pathology; perfusion; valve repair/replacement.

MeSH terms

  • Cardiac Surgical Procedures / methods
  • Embolectomy / methods*
  • Humans
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Time Factors
  • Vacuum*
  • Venous Thrombosis / surgery*