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July 1953


Author Affiliations

From the Surgical Department of the Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston.

AMA Arch Surg. 1953;67(1):2-3. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1953.01260040005002

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CHRONIC ulceration of the lower extremity, secondary to a preexisting deep venous thrombosis, i. e., the so-called postphlebitic or post-thrombotic ulcer, has baffled the medical profession for centuries. Although not a fatal disease, it has resulted in an untold amount of human suffering and tremendous expense to the afflicted individuals, both in payment for unsuccessful therapy and, in addition, from the loss of wages due to disability. Numerous methods have been recommended to cure these ulcerations, but the vast majority have proved ineffective because they do not correct the underlying pathologic physiology.

A number of surgical procedures have been developed, which, although well-intentioned, are found unfortunately by further study to prove useless, or even detrimental. It is believed at present that lumbar sympathetic ganglionectomy in the treatment of the post-thrombotic type of ulceration of the lower extremity should be placed in this category. Experience has shown that when properly performed

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