What is vascular trauma?
- A blunt injury occurs when a blood vessel is crushed or stretched.
- A penetrating injury occurs when a blood vessel is punctured, torn or severed.
- Either type of vascular trauma can cause the blood vessel to clot and interrupt blood flow to an organ or extremity, or cause bleeding which can lead to life-threatening hemorrhage.
How to diagnose vascular injury?
A vascular injury can sometimes be diagnosed by physical examination alone.
Ultrasound is noninvasive, safe, repeatable, and very flexible, in contrast with other imaging modalities. Blood flow velocities and waveforms are displayed in real time, revealing pathologic changes such as arterial thromboses and occlusions.
This helps in locating the site of vessel injury.
Angiography has a role when noninvasive methods yield inconclusive results.
What is the treatment of traumatic vessels?
Surgical BypassOpen surgical repair of a blood vessel often requires a surgical bypass.
- In this procedure, a prosthetic graft or a natural graft formed from a portion of a vein obtained from another location in your body, usually from your thigh or calf ios used for repair.
- If the injured vessel is a vein, it may be repaired with a graft, but sometimes can simply be tied off (ligated).
Endovascular treatmentIt is less invasive than open surgery and may be an option for some vascular injuries.
- Balloon stenting is done to widen the injured vessel to restore blood flow.
- Stent graft can be placed to provide internal support to help keep the vessel open.