Hong Kong Med J 2007;13:449-52 | Number 6, December 2007
Bleeding pseudoaneurysms complicating upper abdominal surgery
Hester YS Cheung, CN Tang, KH Fung, Michael KW Li
Department of Surgery, Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital, 3 Lok Man Road, Chai Wan, Hong Kong
OBJECTIVE. To review the management of ruptured pseudoaneurysms following upper abdominal surgery.
DESIGN. Retrospective study.
SETTING. Minimal access surgery centre, Hong Kong.
PATIENTS. Patients who were diagnosed to have a pseudoaneurysm after undergoing major upper abdominal surgery were recruited during the period of 1998 to 2006.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES. Success rate of haemostasis, re-bleeding rate, re-intervention rate, and mortality.
RESULTS. During the study period, a total of eight patients (median age, 61 years) were managed in our department for bleeding pseudoaneurysms following cholecystectomy, gastrectomy, or Whipple's operation. Five patients underwent upper endoscopy as the initial investigation. In four of these five patients, visceral artery pseudoaneurysms were identified by angiography and haemostasis was achieved without re-bleeding. The one for whom angiographic identification of the bleeding source failed, was successfully treated subsequently by open plication. In three other patients, open surgical haemostasis was resorted to and achieved in two of them. However, one of the latter had re-bleeding, which was successfully treated by embolisation. The one who failed open identification of the bleeding source, was eventually also treated successfully by embolisation. The overall success rates of embolisation and open surgery were 80% and 67%, respectively, and the re-bleeding rates were 0% and 33%, respectively. The corresponding mortality rates were 20% and 33%; both deaths were associated with multi-organ failure. There were no procedure-related complications following embolisation.
CONCLUSIONS. Based on our experience, visceral angiography can enable the diagnosis and treatment of ruptured pseudoaneurysm in a single session. The procedure is safe, the re-bleeding rate is low, and it is as effective as alternative treatments, and should be considered a first-line intervention in patients with bleeding pseudoaneurysms complicating upper abdominal surgery.
Key words: Angiography; Cholecystectomy; Embolization, therapeutic; Gastrointestinal hemorrhage
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