Surgical disobliteration of postthrombotic deep veins - Endophlebectomy - Is feasible

Alessandra Puggioni, Robert L. Kistner, Bo Eklof, Fedor Lurie, Michael C. Dalsing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

53 Scopus citations


Objective: Partial obstruction of postthrombotic veins is caused by endovenous scar tissue, which creates synechiae and septae that narrow and sometimes block the lumen. We have performed surgical disobliteration, or endophlebectomy, of chronically obstructed venous segments during various kinds of deep venous reconstructions to increase the flow through previously obstructed segments. In this article we describe the endophlebectomy technique, and report the availability of this procedure as an adjunct to deep venous reconstructions for the treatment of postthrombotic chronic venous insufficiency. Patients and Methods: Between July 1996 and February 2003, surgical disobstruction of 23 deep venous segments was performed in 13 patients in association with 14 deep venous reconstructions to treat advanced postthrombotic chronic venous insufficiency. Postthrombotic veins were surgically exposed, and a longitudinal venotomy was carried out at a variable length. The synechiae and masses attached to the intimal layer were carefully excised. Mean duplex scanning follow-up was 10.8 ± 8.2 months (median, 8 months; range, 1-28 months). Results: In 10 patients (77%) the treated segments remained primarily patent at median follow-up of 8 months (range, 1-28 months). Early thrombosis near the endophlebectomy site occurred in 3 patients, at 2, 5, and 12 days, respectively, after surgery. In 2 patients with early thrombosis further interventions were carried out with success. In a third patient with early postoperative thrombosis the final outcome was recanalization and reflux. These results yielded an overall secondary patency rate of 93%. No perioperative pulmonary embolism was observed. Conclusion: This series demonstrates that surgical disobliteration of poatthrombotic deep veins is technically feasible, and led to patency of the segments for the duration of follow-up for up to 28 months (mean, 10.8 ± 8.2 months). We used this technique with the objective of disobstructing postthrombotic veins, to increase flow through a previously narrowed lumen. Postoperative thrombosis at the site of endophlebectomy occurred in 23% of patients. Although this early experience is encouraging, further studies and longer follow-up are necessary to assess the durability of the procedure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1048-1052
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of vascular surgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2004
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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