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Spine J. 2004 Jul-Aug;4(4):409-12.

Vascular injury during anterior lumbar surgery.

Author information

1
Spine Access Surgery Associates, 1334 Westwood Boulevard, Suite 1D, Los Angeles, CA 90024, USA. salvo@labridge.com

Abstract

BACKGROUND CONTEXT:

With the number of anterior lumbar procedures expected to increase significantly over the next few years, it is important for spine surgeons to have a good understanding about the incidence of vascular complications during these operations.

PURPOSE:

To determine the incidence of vascular injury in 1,315 consecutive cases undergoing anterior lumbar surgery at various levels from L2 to S1.

STUDY DESIGN/SETTING:

Patients undergoing anterior lumbar surgery were studied.

PATIENT SAMPLE:

A total of 1,310 consecutive patients undergoing 1,315 anterior lumbar procedures between August 1997 and December 2002 were included in the study.

OUTCOME MEASURES:

All patients were evaluated for incidence of vascular injury during and immediately after surgery.

METHOD:

A concurrent database was maintained on all these cases. All the patients had distal pulse evaluation preoperatively. Patients with venous injuries were further analyzed to determine location and extent of injury, amount of blood loss, completion of the procedure and postoperative sequelae. Patients with pulse deficits or evidence of ischemia during or immediately after surgery were further analyzed in particular in relation to demographic, preoperative variables and management.

RESULTS:

Six patients were identified as having left iliac artery thrombosis (0.45%), and 19 had major vein lacerations (1.4%).

CONCLUSION:

This study shows that the incidence of vascular injury is relatively low (25 in 1,315 or 1.9%). Because only five of these patients experienced significant sequelae from the approach, it appears that anterior lumbar surgery is quite safe, although it must be carried out with utmost respect for the vessels to avoid possible catastrophic outcomes.

PMID:
15246301
DOI:
10.1016/j.spinee.2003.12.003
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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