CASE REPORTS
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Simple and secure thrombectomy without circulatory arrest for acute pulmonary embolism.

BACKGROUND: Surgical pulmonary artery thrombectomy is a well-established emergency treatment for massive pulmonary embolism (PE) in which fibrinolysis or thrombolysis are not effective. However, surgery for massive PE that requires peripheral pulmonary artery thrombus removal remains challenging. We established a simple and secure pulmonary artery thrombectomy method using cardiopulmonary bypass and cardiac arrest. In this procedure, the surgical assistant arm, typically used for coronary artery bypass grafting, is used to obtain a feasible working space during thrombectomy.

CASE PRESENTATION: We present seven consecutive massive PE cases that were treated with the present surgical method and successfully weaned from cardiopulmonary bypass or extracorporeal membrane oxygenation postoperatively.

CONCLUSIONS: This procedure can be used to prevent right ventricular failure after surgery as surgeons can remove the peripheral thrombus with clear vision up to the second branch of the pulmonary artery.

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