Journal of vascular surgery : official publication, the Society for Vascular Surgery [and] International Society for Cardiovascular Surgery, North American Chapter vol:22 issue:2 pages:129-34
PURPOSE: This report evaluates the efficiency of use of the lower extremity deep vein as arterial conduits in the autogenous repair of prosthetic infection after reconstructive aortoiliac surgery. METHODS: We reviewed our records for the period 1990 to 1994 of all patients with prosthetic infection after reconstruction for aortoiliac disease, and we selected for this study all those patients who underwent autograft repair with the lower extremity deep veins. RESULTS: Included were 15 patients: 12 had previously undergone direct aorto(ilio)femoral reconstruction, and three had an extraanatomic prosthetic graft. Thirteen patients were admitted with primary graft infection, and two were admitted with secondary graft-enteric erosion. Treatment consisted of prosthetic excision and aorto(ilio)femoral reconstruction with the superficial femoral vein. In situ reconstruction was performed in 12 cases. The operative mortality rate was 7%. There were no early graft occlusions. One patient underwent an above-knee amputation because of concomitant femoropopliteal occlusion in the presence of a patent deep venous aortofemoral graft. Early postoperative limb swelling was common and was controlled with bed rest, elastic stockings, or intermittent pneumatic compression. The mean follow-up of this series was 17 months (range 4 to 33 months). Two patients died of unrelated causes. One graft occluded after 16 months. There were no reinfections, and all but one patient resumed normal daily activities. Disability from removal of the deep veins was minimal: only one patient continues to wear elastic stockings for limb swelling and shows signs of venous hypertension more than 2 years after surgery. CONCLUSION: Harvesting of the lower extremity deep veins is well tolerated. Autogenous reconstruction with these veins provides good potential for salvage of life and limbs in case of prosthetic infection. A longer period of follow-up is required to study the long-term behavior of these grafts and to allow definite comparison with more conventional approaches.