LIGATION of the inferior vena cava is a logical procedure for a limited group of patients whose lives are threatened from the danger of pulmonary embolism. The chief drawback of this measure has been fear of disabling complications resulting from the procedure itself. A careful follow-up study on 20 such patients will be presented in order that the after-effects of such ligations may be carefully considered and evaluated.
Kocher performed the first vena caval ligation of record in 1883, and Billroth attempted one in 1885. However, these were done because of operative trauma and were followed by fatal outcomes.1 The first successful ligation was accomplished by Bottini. Cliffton and Neel, in their review of the literature, found that 136 vena caval ligations had been reported up to November, 1949.2
The indications for ligation of the inferior vena cava have fallen into four main groups: (1) operative trauma; (2)