Acute iliofemoral venous thrombosis is a frequent complication of major abdominal and pelvic operations and often occurs during hospitalization for multiple fractures and soft-tissue injuries. The tensely swollen, constantly aching lower limb is pathognomonic of extensive deep venous occlusion. The severe pain and massive edema are almost unbearable. The late sequelae of the postphlebitic limb may be even more serious.
None of the components of presently accepted nonoperative treatment attempts to prevent the development of deep venous insufficiency which usually follows iliofemoral venous thrombosis. These patients become victims of chronically edematous, aching, ulcer-prone extremities as a result of the destruction of the directional flow in the deep venous system of the leg. Thrombectomy will not only remove a fresh clot which might become fragmented, but it will also restore normal flow through undamaged valves. In the belief that this concept is correct, 24 patients have been operated upon for acute