Relative risks of limb revascularization and amputation in the modern era

M. J. Schina, R. G. Atnip, D. A. Healy, B. L. Thiele

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


A retrospective review of 266 patients undergoing infrainguinal revascularization for limb salvage and/or major amputation (transmetatarsal, below-knee or above-knee) from 1984 to 1990 was conducted to determine comprehensive procedure-specific 30-day operative morbidity and mortality rates. Some 211 patients underwent 295 infrainguinal vascular reconstructions (195 primary and 100 secondary reconstructions). There were 122 major amputations in 98 patients (29 above-knee. 70 below-knee and 23 ¢transmetatarsal). Most amputations were performed in patients with unreconstructable vascular disease, including 39 patients (41 extremities) with failed infrainguinal reconstruction. Procedure-specific morbidity and mortality rates were 48 and 2% for primary revascularization. 35 and 2% for secondary revascularization and 37 and 4%. for amputation, respectively. The difference in mortality between revascularization and amputation approached but did not achieve statistical significance. Cardiac, graft and wound complications were the major causes of morbidity in all groups. Nine of the 12 deaths were of cardiac etiology. Revascularization can be performed in almost all patients with advanced limb ischemia, with a mortality rate equivalent to, or perhaps lower than, that of amputation. When limb amputation Is required, it can be performed with a mortality rate remarkably lower than that described in the older literature.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)754-759
Number of pages6
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1994

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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