Ligation of the inferior vena cava was performed on 38 patients with five postoperative deaths (13%). Recurrent pulmonary embolism occurred in three patients (8%) and on late follow-up, eight (24%) had minimal lower extremity stasis symptoms, 11 (33%) had moderate symptoms, and 14 (43%) had signs of the postphlebitic syndrome in one or both legs. Partial caval interruption was performed on 26 patients with two postoperative deaths (8%). Recurrent embolism occurred in two patients (8%) and on late follow-up, 13 (54%) had minimal lower extremity stasis symptoms, seven (30%) had moderate symptoms, and four (14%) had signs of the postphlebitic syndrome. The findings indicate that partial interruption is as effective as ligation in preventing pulmonary embolism, is associated with a lower operative mortality, and is followed by significantly less disabling stasis sequelae in the lower extremities.
Adams JT, Feingold BE, DeWeese JA. Comparative Evaluation of Ligation and Partial Interruption of the Inferior Vena Cava. Arch Surg. 1971;103(2):272-276. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1971.01350080188029