IN THE thirty-six years since Labey1 of France (1911) performed the first successful arterial embolectomy, widespread experience with this procedure has demonstrated its practical importance in prevention of gangrene and death from embolic obturation of systemic arteries. Prior to 1930 interest in this field was largely limited to the work in Scandinavian clinics, but in recent years many peripheral embolectomies have been performed in this country. Reviews of the surgical advances in treatment of arterial emboli have been made by Key2 (1936), Haimovici3 (1937), Linton4 (1941), Pratt5 (1942) and McClure and Harkins6 (1943). These authors described the clinical and pathologic features of arterial embolism and emphasized the desirability of prompt embolectomy. Murray7 (1940) stressed the advantage of giving heparin in conjunction with removal of the embolus.
Attempted embolectomies for repeated arterial emboli have been performed by a number of surgeons, but few successful