Endoscopic Vein Harvesting (EVH) is a procedure wherein the vein is removed safely and in a less invasive fashion. This procedure uses a small video camera and endoscopes in order to keep a track of the removal of the vein harvest.
The main surgical procedure for carrying on a bypass surgery involves the usage of the healthy blood vessel to bypass a damaged artery. Now let us now know a little more about the vein harvesting. There are two main types of the vein harvesting, that is the traditional vein harvesting and the endoscopic vein harvesting. Let us have a brief discussion on each one of them.
The Traditional vein harvesting method
As the image indicates, the traditional system of vein harvesting involves a long or a series of incisions on the patient’s leg, right from the knee level up to the ankle. Through this incision, the saphenous vein (the vein required for bypass) is removed. The surgeons then use the harvested vessel as a graft to sew in order to bypass the damaged artery.
The Endoscopic Vein Harvesting
Endoscopic vein harvesting is done in order to get the veins for grafting for the bypass surgery. The image above shows the scar made from the endoscopic vein harvesting. In recent years, there are high advances in the technology that has paved way for this endoscopic method. The image above can easily be used to differentiate between the extent of scars that is caused by the traditional method and that of the endoscopic method. This endoscopic method is less invasive wherein the surgeons make very small incisions in the patient’s leg. This procedure is not only less painful but also eliminates the various complications that are involved with the traditional method.
Now that we know the differences between the two methods, it is equally important to know how exactly this endoscopic vein harvesting is performed.
As the name indicates, this endoscopic method makes use of an instrument called the endoscope in order to have a look at the area with the help of the video camera connected to it. The saphenous vein inside the leg is seen with the help of the endoscope. Once the surgeon gets to know the exact location of the saphenous vein, he/she can remove the vein with ease eliminating all the complications and the credit goes to the endoscope. All this is performed in the Operation Theatre (OT) under the general anesthesia that may long for maximum three hours.
There are many benefits of employing the endoscopic vessel harvesting.
- Less painful
- Less scarring
- Less complications
- Patient can feel less stressed
There is one major drawback with the EVH method, that is the time taken to complete EVH is much longer than that of the traditional method.Despite of the fact that there are many advantages with the endoscopic vein harvesting method like the reduction in the size of the scar and also reduction in the problem that concerns leg postoperatively, there is a possibility that this method does not suit to all patients. So it is very important to seek enough guidance from your surgeon before the surgery. With this you can add healthy years to your life. The conclusion is that the Endoscopic vein harvesting is the most safe and efficient method with reduced pain and better results.