During the past 15 years, we have employed a modified classification and management plan to treat infections involving nonaortic peripheral arterial prosthetic grafts (PAPGs) without graft removal whenever possible. Sixty-eight infected wounds potentially involving PAPGs were initially treated by excision of necrotic and infected wound tissue in the operating room (wound excision). This was sufficient for all 34 minor infections that did not directly involve the graft. In the 34 remaining infected wounds with graft involvement (major infections), partial removal of a PAPG in 13 cases allowed preservation for up to 15 years of a functioning arterial segment and its collaterals. Ten other grafts were entirely saved. Only 11 of 34 major graft infections ultimately required total graft removal. This approach to infection complicating PAPGs resulted in only two deaths (6%) and directly led to limb loss or amputation at a higher level in eight patients (24%). Total removal of an infected PAPG is often unnecessary and may increase mortality and morbidity.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine