The diagnosis, symptomatology and successful treatment of arterial emboli have been greatly clarified in recent years. There have been numerous reports in the last decade1 in American literature of successful embolectomies to save a limb or a life. However, this surgical emergency is not so common in an individual practice that anyone amasses a large series of cases.
The first successful embolectomy was performed by Lahey in 1911,2 followed shortly with another by Key in the same year. The operation had been attempted unsuccessfully as early as 1895 by Abanejew. Between 1895 and 1911 Moynihan, Stewart, Doberauer, Murphy, Carell and others attempted the procedure. Scandinavian countries led all others in the development of this branch of surgery, and it was not until 1927 that American, British and Canadian surgeons began to perform the operation in other than scattered instances.
It is generally agreed that an embolus in a