Best Practices


Since the mid-1990s, surgeons have used endoscopes and tiny incisions at the ankle, knee and groin to remove leg veins during CABG. It quickly became and remained the standard of care in the United States because it resulted in shorter hospital stays, less perioperative discomfort, fewer incision-site complications and less scarring than open vein harvesting (OVH).3

Recently, a study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (August 2012) comparing the mortality rates and adverse cardiac events of EVH vs. OVH in 235,395 patients at three years. The study found that EVH was not associated with increased mortality or increased adverse cardiac events and demonstrated that EVH had lower rates of infection and wound complications than OVH-supporting its dominant position as the vein harvesting therapy of choice during CABG.4


(3) Duke Medicine News and Communications. "Study Allays Concerns About Endoscopic Vein Harvesting During Heart Surgery." Available at http://www.dukehealth.org/health_library/news/study-allays-concerns-about-endoscopic-vein-harvesting-during-heart-surgery. Accessed on July 31, 2012.

(4) Williams JB, Peterson ED, Brennan JM, et al. Association between endoscopic vs open vein-graft harvesting and mortality, wound complications, and cardiovascular events in patients undergoing CABG surgery.JAMA. 2012 Aug 1;308(5):475-84.

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