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.