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February 1940


Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery, School of Medicine, Tulane University.

Arch Surg. 1940;40(2):208-231. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1940.04240010048004

Few conditions are as discouraging to the clinician and as unpleasant and dangerous to the patient as postoperative or postpuerperal thrombosis. There is nothing more tragic in medicine than the occurrence of a fatal pulmonary embolism in a patient who has convalesced satisfactorily after an operation and is ready to be discharged. Although less dramatic than such an outcome, persistent thrombophlebitic sequelae, such as postphlebitic edema, varicosities and ulceration, frequently cause the patient to regret having survived the original infection. All these conditions are similar in that an intravascular venous occlusion occurs, but we believe, as has been perviously emphasized,1 that it is necessary from prognostic and therapeutic points of view to differentiate between thrombophlebitis and phlebothrombosis. In the former the intravascular clotting is associated with and dependent on inflammation of the wall of the vein, whereas in the latter there is no associated inflammatory process and because of

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