Vascular injuries of the axilla

Ann Surg. 1982 Feb;195(2):232-8. doi: 10.1097/00000658-198202000-00020.


Between January 1970 and December 1980, 65 patients sustaining 85 vascular injuries of the axillary artery and/or vein were managed at the Ben Taub General Hospital in Houston, Texas. Concomitant injuries of the subclavian and/or brachial vessels were noted in 34 per cent of patients. A variety of exposure techniques was used in approaching the axillary vessels. Emphasis upon preservation of collateral vessels led to an increased use of substitute vascular conduits over end-to-end anastomosis. The ready availability of prosthetic conduits, absence of graft infection, and excellent short-term patency have made them a primary choice for axillary arterial reconstruction in our recent experience. Associated brachial plexus injury (35%) accounted for the most significant long-term morbidity. The operative mortality was 3.1%, and one patient required upper extremity amputation following failure of repeated revascularization attempts.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Axillary Artery / injuries*
  • Axillary Vein / diagnostic imaging
  • Axillary Vein / injuries*
  • Brachial Artery / injuries
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Radiography
  • Subclavian Artery / injuries
  • Subclavian Vein / injuries
  • Wounds, Gunshot / surgery
  • Wounds, Nonpenetrating / surgery
  • Wounds, Penetrating / surgery*
  • Wounds, Stab / surgery