We report a case illustrating the therapeutic consequences of an intravenous metastasis to the left superior pulmonary vein following resection of a voluminous primary lung carcinoma. Arterial spread of malignant cells occurred because the size of the tumor did not allow immediate clamping of the left superior pulmonary vein. The embolism was situated at the aortic bifurcation and lower limb ischemia persisted despite also emergency embolectomy. Distal (lower popliteal) embolectomy was also unsuccessful, and lower limb amputation was inevitable. This case illustrates the problems encountered in surgical treatment of pulmonary vein invasion by lung carcinoma and the role of adjuvant chemotherapy and radiotherapy.