What are the possible complications of thoracic outlet syndrome?

Updated: Jan 10, 2019
  • Author: Daryl A Rosenbaum, MD; Chief Editor: Sherwin SW Ho, MD  more...
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Answer

Ischemic changes, including gangrene, are potential complications of arterial thoracic outlet syndrome. Pulmonary embolism is reported in 0-28.5% of patients with subclavian-axillary venous thrombosis. Venous gangrene and upper extremity phlegmasia cerulea dolens account for 2-5% of all cases of phlegmasia. Nerve injury (eg, brachial plexus neurapraxia) is the most serious postoperative complication after thoracic outlet decompression. Bleeding problems from the subclavian vessels and lymph leakage from the thoracic duct occur infrequently.


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