CARDIOVASCULAR diseases are the world’s most common cause of death today, claiming 18.6 million lives each year. One serious heart condition is coronary artery disease, where plaque inside the arteries of the heart blocks the flow of blood and oxygen to the heart muscle. Patients with severe coronary artery disease are often treated with coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery. During the procedure, a surgeon removes a healthy blood vessel from the patient’s leg or arm and uses it to create a new route for blood to travel to the heart. And this is where our Vasoview Solutions for endoscopic vessel harvesting (EVH) come in.

Removing vessels using EVH is at the forefront of technological advances. It helps the harvester safely acquire high quality conduits for CABG surgery by virtually eliminating thermal spread, using a smaller incision (2 cm), which is proven to reduce infection rate, reduce pain and leave smaller scars, while also leading to faster recovery, better clinical outcomes, and enhanced patient satisfaction. The quality of the harvested conduit, vein or artery, is excellent and comparable with the standard open technique.

Great advantages of endoscopic vessel harvesting - Featured Image

The scar from endoscopic vessel harvesting.

The EVH procedure is employed in most patients undergoing CABG procedures in the United States, yet, most hospitals in Australia still perform open vessel harvesting (OVH), which may have a longer recovery time, increased pain and increased risk of infection, not to mention the long incision (30 cm).

Great advantages of endoscopic vessel harvesting - Featured Image

The scars from open vessel harvesting.

Dr Michael G Worthington, Senior Consultant Surgeon and former Director of the D’Arcy Sutherland Cardiothoracic Surgical Unit in Adelaide, is a strong proponent of EVH and introduced EVH to the public system in Australia. He comments:

“During my career in cardiac surgery and particularly in CABG, the blood loss, discomfort, infection rates, slow healing, and oedema of the legs following harvesting of the leg veins for CABG was a striking and unnecessary feature of the procedure. Patients often complained that the leg incisions caused more discomfort than the midline sternotomy. I was first introduced to EVH in the early 2000s and was struck by the clinical differences between open vessel as opposed to EVH; to the degree where patients having undergone EVH are almost unaware that their peripheral vessels have been harvested.

“On migrating to Australia, I was astounded that in Australia, EVH was only performed in two private hospitals in Queensland. In collaboration with Getinge, we initially introduced EVH to the public system at the Royal Adelaide Hospital and later to the Alfred Hospital in Melbourne, and at the same time introduced EVH in the private system in Adelaide at the Calvary Adelaide Hospital. We have an ongoing training program to train specialist EVH harvesters based on the system practised in the US. Learning to perform EVH has a steep learning curve, but once mastered, the procedure does not slow the overall operation, provides an excellent harvested vessel and minimal trauma to the patient. In Australia, there is no reason why patients should not receive the benefits of EVH when undergoing CABG procedures.”

EVH has shown improved patient satisfaction by reduced pain, which has allowed the patients to mobilise earlier and more effectively. Furthermore, there is a decrease in wound infections and other leg wound complications.

At Getinge, we are committed to help medical teams all over the world to contribute to healthier human hearts, and our Vasoview Systems used to perform EVH is a good example where technological advances can lead to improved clinical outcome and enhanced patient satisfaction.

To learn more about the advantages of using EVH, check out this video with Dr Michael Worthington or contact us at More on the Vasoview Hemopro 2 Endoscopic Vessel Harvesting System here.


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