The treatment of acute limb ischemia secondary to thromboembolic disease has become significantly more difficult because of the increased proportion of elderly patients presenting with complex patterns of atherosclerotic disease. The presence of multiple medical comorbidities also complicates operative and perioperative management in these patients. Neither the techniques nor catheter designs have changed significantly since the introduction of the balloon embolectomy catheter in 1963, which permitted extraction of clot from remote sites. The authors believe that the use of intraoperative fluoroscopy and the performance of fluoroscopically assisted thromboembolectomy (FATE) greatly improves the results of this treatment in many cases. FATE facilitates catheter passage through tortuous, diseased arteries, identifies residual thrombus and underlying lesions, reduces vessel damage caused by balloon overinflation, and decreases the risk of catheter-induced dissection or atherosclerotic plaque displacement. Intraoperative fluoroscopy helps determine the need for as well as guides adjunctive procedures such as angioplasty and stenting. Such procedures can be performed at the time of the thromboembolectomy simplifying and expediting treatment.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine