Author(s): Georgiadis GS, Bessias NC, Pavlidis PM, Pomoni M, Batakis N, , Georgiadis GS, Bessias NC, Pavlidis PM, Pomoni M, Batakis N,
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Abstract PURPOSE: To discuss the perioperative considerations and operative outcomes of 26 intravenous (i.v.) drug abusers who presented with infected false aneurysms of the limbs. METHODS: The subjects were 20 men and 6 women with pseudoaneurysms (mean age 34 years, range 19-53 years). The femoral and brachial arteries were most commonly involved. All patients, except for those with active bleeding, underwent digital subtraction angiography or Doppler ultrasonography, or both. Treatment consisted of excision and ligation of the aneurysm and local debridement, followed by revascularization with a vein graft or vein patch angioplasty. RESULTS: The presenting symptoms and signs included a pulsatile mass (69\%), ischemic pain (23\%), active bleeding (38.5\%), signs of inflammation (61.5\%), and positive blood culture (31\%). Bleeding complications developed in two patients, who underwent subsequent extra-anatomic bypass. One of these patients had hip disarticulation and eventually died. None of the remaining patients had claudication or required an amputation. The mean follow-up period was 24 months (range: 3-50 months). Only five (19.2\%) patients received drug rehabilitation, whereas the remaining patients admitted to continued drug abuse after discharge from hospital. CONCLUSIONS: Limb salvage with immediate revascularization is safe and achieves functionality; therefore, its use is justified. Recidivism and continued abuse is the usual consequence after discharge from hospital, making recovery difficult.
This article was published in Surg Today
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Experimental Dermatology Research