Surgical reconstruction of central venous obstruction in salvaging upper extremity dialysis accesses

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Central vein thrombosis or obstruction is a common complication associated with central venous catheters placed for intermittent hemodialysis. The reported outcomes of percutaneous catheter-based interventions reveal high rates of lesion recurrence with varying and frequently limited patency intervals. We present the case of open venous bypass in the treatment of catheter-associated chronic central vein occlusion.


We report a case of symptomatic arm swelling secondary to central vein stenosis and failed endovascular venous intervention treated by central vein bypass with prosthetic graft through median sternotomy.


Patient had an open axillary to innominate venous bypass via median sternotomy incision, which resulted in resolution of patients symptoms and uninterrupted patency of the pre-existing vascular access.


Open venous bypass is a reliable alternative to endovascular intervention in the symptomatic patient with extensive central vein occlusion as a primary intervention or in whom prior endovascular therapy has failed.

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