Of more than 700 Vietnam casualties with vascular injuries seen at Walter Reed General Hospital, 57 patients with adequately documented complications of their initial arterial repair performed in Vietnam are reviewed. Twenty-four patients required additional vascular operations.
Infected vascular repairs usually resulted in hemorrhage from disruption of the vascular repair. Major arterial ligation, required in nine patients, terminated in amputation of three extremities.
Thrombosis and stenosis of upper extremity arterial repairs required operative intervention in only four of 27 patients. Concomitant nerve deficits frequently remained the limiting factor. In the lower extremity, thrombosis and stenosis of arterial repairs caused significant intermittent claudication in eight of 13 patients, necessitating additional operative procedures.
Periodic evaluation and long-term follow-up of these patients with complications, as well as all patients sustaining vascular injuries in Vietnam are emphasized.