Superior Mesenteric Vein Injury During Oncologic Right Colectomy: Current Vascular Repair Modalities

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Abstract

Purpose:

To review the different vascular repair options of superior mesenteric vein (SMV) damage during oncologic right colectomy.

Methods:

This is a retrospective chart review of 5 cases in which severe damage to the SMV occurred during oncological right colectomy in an academic medical center.

Results:

During a 10-year study period, we encountered 5 cases in which severe damage to the SMV and its tributaries occurred. Two of the patients underwent primary venous repair for partial lacerations. The other 3 underwent interposition graft repair using a great saphenous vein (GSV) graft. Two of the grafts remained patent, while the third required replacement with a bovine pericardial patch.

Conclusions:

The SMV injury during oncologic right colectomy is a technically challenging injury. Based on our own experience and review of the literature, we formulated the following set of recommendations: (1) Venous ligation should be avoided, and revascularization should be attempted whenever feasible. (2) Primary venorrhaphy in cases of partial lacerations is the preferred treatment option. (3) End-to-end anastomosis is an efficient but seldom available repair option in the setting of complete SMV transection without segmental loss. (4) Autologous vein graft using the GSV is the preferred mode of repair during SMV injury with tissue loss. (5) Use of polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) graft should be avoided if possible due to greater risk of graft contamination. (6) A low threshold for reexploration depending on laboratory and imaging findings is advisable.

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