Acute embolus occlusion of the superior mesenteric artery (SMA) either demonstrates a poor prognosis, or forces the patients to endure miserable postoperative dietary lives. Recently, we developed a new successful technique which reduced the length of the intestinal segment that had to be removed. The technique was as follows: (1) the distal end of the SMA was ligated to avoid perfusion of the necrotic segment, and (2) a Fogarty balloon catheter was inserted from the distal end of the SMA and then passed proximally to remove any remaining clots. Using the above-described technique on 3 cases from 1992 to 1994, we were thus able to shorten the length of the intestine that had to be removed and thereby greatly improve the patients' postoperative dietary lives.
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