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November 1967

Lumbar Sympathectomy: Current Role in the Treatment of Arteriosclerotic Occlusive Disease

Author Affiliations

From the Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit.

Arch Surg. 1967;95(5):753-761. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1967.01330170061008

THE precise role of lumbar sympathectomy in the management of peripheral arteriosclerotic occlusive disease (PAOD) has always been poorly defined, and since the advent of alternative and more effective surgical methods it has been further obscured. A review of the clinical course of 243 patients selected for lumbar sympathectomy out of a group of 1,277 patients with peripheral atherosclerotic arterial occlusive disease—the remainder of whom, or 1,034, received treatment by angioplastic procedures—appeared to us to be capable of yielding information helpful in the clarification of the current indications for this operation.

Clinical Material 

Selection and Classification of Cases.  —The period covered by this survey corresponds to the era of the development and adoption of reconstructive surgical procedures as the primary form of treatment of atherosclerotic peripheral arterial disease. During this time we employed lumbar sympathectomy in the management of this disease under highly restricted indications. In essence, sympathectomy was

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