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December 1982

Sympathectomy in the Treatment of Chronic Venous Leg Ulcers

Author Affiliations

From Baylor Medical Center, Dallas.

Arch Surg. 1982;117(12):1561-1565. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1982.01380360037007

• Patients with recurrent, intractable postphlebitic ulcer were treated by using sympathectomy as an adjunctive procedure. After standardized aggressive conservative therapy and 47 prior operations, including skin grafts, local excision, and various localized and extensive vein ligations and/or strippings, 23 patients continued to have ulcerations for 11 months to thirteen years. After sympathectomy, all ulcers healed within two to 6½ months. During a follow-up of 2½ to 11 years, 18 patients remained free of ulcers. Four had recurrent ulcerations, three promptly healing with reinstitution of elastic support, which had been discontinued. Sympathectomy is a simple and effective adjunctive method of surgical management for the occasional patient with intractable recurrent postphlebitic ulceration.

(Arch Surg 1982;117:1561-1565)