Minimal Vein Harvest

A common complaint for patients who have undergone traditional coronary artery bypass surgery is the discomfort of the leg incision. Physician assistants in cardiovascular and thoracic surgery at Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire have implemented new techniques to minimize the trauma of vein harvest.

A procedure called "skip incisions" is used in more than 90 percent of patients who have veins harvested. In some cases, this procedure may involve as few as two or three small incisions along the entire leg.

The result is that most patients are more comfortable when recovering and resuming their lifestyle because they don't have the discomfort of a long leg incision.