Surgical treatment of threatened reversed infrainguinal vein grafts

Mark R. Nehler, Gregory L. Moneta, Richard A. Yeager, James M. Edwards, Lloyd M. Taylor, John M. Porter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations


Purpose: Current information concerning the results of surgical revision of threatened infrainguinal vein grafts is largely limited to in situ conduits. Infrainguinal grafts may be threatened by intrinsic graft lesions or significant stenosis in the adjacent inflow or outflow arteries. To assess the results of operative revision of infrainguinal reversed vein grafts, we reviewed our experience with surgical revision of threatened infrainguinal reversed vein grafts identified through a program of postoperative clinical and vascular laboratory graft surveillance. Methods: All patients who underwent surgical revision of a threatened but patent infrainguinal reversed vein graft from January 1987 through April 1993 were identified through review of our vascular registry. Data were analyzed for type of vein used, date of original reversed vein graft, clinical and vascular laboratory findings leading to reversed vein graft revision, results of preoperative angiography, patient risk factors, operative techniques and complications, and long-term assisted primary graft patency and limb salvage. Results: Ninety-six patients with 100 infrainguinal reversed vein grafts (69) femoral-popliteal, 31 femoral-tibial) underwent 117 surgical vein graft revisions or inflow procedures during the study period. Eighty-one percent of the original reversed vein grafts consisted of a single segment of greater saphenous vein. All revised grafts had at least a 50% stenosis in the graft itself or the proximal or distal artery. A single revision was performed in 85 grafts, two revisions in 13 grafts, and three revisions in two grafts. There were nine (8%) isolated inflow procedures, eight (7%) vein patch angioplasties, 62 (53%) interposition vein grafts, and 29 (25%) vein graft extensions to a new distal anastomotic site. The remaining nine (8%) procedures consisted of combinations of the above. Median time to primary graft revision after initial graft implantation was 15 months (range 2 days to 316 months). Mean time to secondary revision after primary revision was 21 months. Operative mortality was 0.9%. Cumulative assisted primary patency of the original grafts revised for stenotic lesions was 99%, 96%, and 92% at 1, 3, and 5 years, respectively. Limb salvage was 99%, 97%, and 97% at 1, 3, and 5 years, respectively. Conclusions: Although surgical revision of reversed vein graft requires much use of alternative vein sources, these procedures can be performed with minimum mortality and provide excellent assisted primary graft patency and limb salvage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)558-565
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of vascular surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Surgical treatment of threatened reversed infrainguinal vein grafts'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this