• The treatment of venous injuries remains controversial. In an attempt to evaluate the results of current management of venous injuries, we retrospectively reviewed our experience between 1979 and 1984. During this period 142 patients had sustained injuries to 158 veins in the neck (31 patients), abdomen (45 patients), upper extremity (20 patients), and lower extremity (62 patients). Overall, 90 venous injuries (61%) were repaired, including 83% of caval and iliac vein injuries and 90% of injuries to the common femoral, superficial femoral, and popliteal veins. There was no morbidity after repair of 73 major veins. Morbidity occurred in four of 11 patients after ligation of major veins (edema in two patients and above-knee amputation in two others). Both ligation (N = 51) and repair (N = 17) of lesser veins (jugular, brachial, profunda femoral, tibial, and minor abdominal veins) resulted in no morbidity. Overall mortality was 6% with all deaths occurring in patients with abdominal venous trauma. These data indicate that repair of venous injuries can be performed without morbidity and that minor veins can be ligated without adverse sequelae. However, in view of the morbidity associated with ligation of major veins, efforts to restore flow to these injured vessels appear appropriate unless contraindicated by life-threatening injury.
(Arch Surg 1986;121:607-611)