[en] Two cases of vein patch blowout were observed five and seven days after carotid bifurcation endarterectomy with patch angioplasty. Both patients died in spite of emergency reoperation. One patient developed respiratory failure with subsequent fatal cardiac arrest seven days after reoperation; the other died of extensive hemispheric infarction on the fifth postoperative day. At reoperation both ruptures were found to be located in the middle of the patch whereas the suture lines were intact. Both patients were hypertensive. In the first case, an accessory saphenous vein retrieved from the calf had been the only venous material available for the patch, while the other patient had varicose veins in the contralateral leg. Pathology revealed central transmural tissue necrosis in one of the disrupted patches. A review of the literature regarding morphologic alterations of free vein grafts placed within the arterial circulation as well as hemodynamics in patched arterial segments may provide additional insight as to the inherent benefits and risks of vein patch angioplasty after carotid endarterectomy. When considering vein patch angioplasty, particular attention should be directed to the gross aspect of the vein to be used as well as to any antecedent history of phlebitis.