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Article
August 1927

POSTOPERATIVE PHLEBITIS: A CLINICAL STUDY

Author Affiliations

ROCHESTER, MINN.
From the Division of Medicine, Mayo Clinic, and The Mayo Foundation.

Arch Surg. 1927;15(2):245-253. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1927.01130200093007

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Abstract

This study is based on eighty-seven cases of postoperative phlebitis that I have observed. Information and exact data were sought to determine the following points: (1) the minimal signs and symptoms on which to make a diagnosis of phlebitis; (2) the degree of disability consequent to this complication; (3) the etiology, predisposing factors, such as intercurrent infection, and seasonal incidence, and (4) the relationship, if such exists, of phlebitis to fatal postoperative embolism.

For a period of two years, I examined, as a routine, patients with pain, soreness or swelling in the legs following operation. The criteria for establishing a diagnosis of postoperative phlebitis were ill defined, and in many cases phlebitis was erroneously diagnosed, with an unmerited attendant increase in the postoperative convalescent period. Many patients complained of sensations in the legs and hips after operation, varying from fatigue and soreness to sharp twinges of pain. One group of

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