Vascular surgery in world war II: the shift to repairing arteries

Justin Barr*, Kenneth J. Cherry, Norman M. Rich

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Vascular surgery in World War II has long been defined by DeBakey and Simeone's classic 1946 article describing arterial repair as exceedingly rare. They argued ligation was and should be the standard surgical response to arterial trauma in war. We returned to and analyzed the original records of WorldWar II military medical units housed in the National Archives and other repositories in addition to consulting published accounts to determine the American practice of vascular surgery in World War II. This research demonstrates a clear shift from ligation to arterial repair occurring among American military surgeons in the last 6 months of the war in the European Theater of Operations. These conclusions not only highlight the role of war as a catalyst for surgical change but also point to the dangers of inaccurate history in stymieing such advances.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)615-620
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of surgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Arterial repair
  • World War II
  • auxiliary surgical groups
  • combat surgery
  • vascular surgery


Dive into the research topics of 'Vascular surgery in world war II: the shift to repairing arteries'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this