Value of Reversed Saphenous Vein in Minimally Invasive Direct Coronary Artery Bypass Graft Procedures

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Abstract

Background.

Minimally invasive direct coronary artery bypass graft procedures are gaining acceptance for revision as well as primary coronary revascularization. When suitable, the left and right internal mammary arteries are preferred as bypass conduits; in other cases, the greater saphenous vein, used for standard coronary artery bypass graft procedures, may be useful to revascularize coronary artery branches during minimally invasive direct coronary artery bypass graft procedures.

Methods.

We used the greater saphenous vein on three occasions during minimally invasive direct coronary artery bypass graft procedures (1) to revascularize the left anterior descending coronary artery by anastomosis to the left axillary artery in the infraclavicular region, (2) as an extension to the left internal mammary artery to reach the left anterior descending coronary artery, and (3) as a bridge from the splenic artery to bypass the distal right coronary artery.

Results.

Postoperatively, all 3 patients had relief from symptoms of coronary artery insufficiency and none has been readmitted to the hospital with symptoms. Angiography or thallium studies were not performed to confirm graft patency because all patients were elderly and the risks of these procedures were considered to outweigh their potential benefit.

Conclusions.

The greater saphenous vein is a potential bypass conduit for use in minimally invasive direct coronary artery bypass graft procedures as well as for coronary artery bypass graft procedures.

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