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Endoscopic Vein Harvesting (EVH) procedure is a first for UHG

Endoscopic Vein Harvesting (EVH) procedure is a first for UHG

The Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, University Hospital Galway have introduced a new technique for harvesting veins for use in coronary artery bypass surgery (CABG).  Dr Alan Soo, Consultant Cardiothoracic Surgeon and his team performed the first ever endoscopic vein harvest (EVH) for Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) on the 14 February at University Hospital Galway. UHG is the first public hospital in the Republic of Ireland to offer this type of surgery.

CABG is a common surgery for patients suffering from heart disease. For this operation, surgeons will have to harvest veins from the leg for use as a conduit to bypass stenosis/blockages in the coronary arteries (blood vessels supplying blood to the heart). Depending on the number of bypasses, surgeons in the past would have to make a lengthy incision along the inner leg and thigh to harvest the veins; this is called the open technique. With recent advancement in technique and technology, surgeons are now able to harvest these veins through a keyhole technique with 2-3 small stab incision measuring around 1cm using a video camera and specialised instrument. This technique is known as Endoscopic Vein Harvesting (EVH). The benefit of this procedure is that it will reduce patient discomfort, reduce wound infection rate and have better cosmetic effect.

The Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, University Hospital Galway, started performing EVH in February 2017 when the first patient, Mr Thomas Harney from Ballinasloe, underwent CABG surgery with vein harvested endoscopically. The surgery was a success and since then, a number of patients have undergone the procedure successfully.

Dr Alan Soo, Consultant Cardiothoracic Surgeon, UHG said, “EVH represents another forward step in surgeons making cardiac surgery less invasive for the patients and hence faster recovery. This procedure has been proven by multiple randomised trials to be cost effective and beneficial to the patients in terms of patient discomfort and wound infection rate. We, in Galway, are proud to be the first public hospital to be able to implement this new service that will bring significant benefit to the patients.”

Keyhole lung surgery

The Department of Thoracic Surgery, University Hospital Galway are also offering keyhole lung resection (VATS lobectomy). Lung resection surgery, mainly performed as part of a treatment for lung cancers and some other conditions, is traditionally performed in an open fashion whereby a large incision is made at the side of the patient’s chest. With improvement in surgical techniques and instruments, surgeons are now able to perform this surgery with much smaller incision in a keyhole technique with the aid of specialised instruments and video camera. This is known as video assisted thoracoscopy  surgery (VATS). With this technique, surgeons are now able to perform various surgery in the thorax minimally invasively including lung resection surgery (lobectomy).

Surgeons in the Department of Thoracic Surgery, UHG are performing this technique since October 2016. Instead of a large incision, surgeons now make a smaller incision measuring around 4-6cm to perform this surgery.

Photo caption

Dr Alan Soo, Consultant Cardiothoracic Surgeon pictured with his team and patient Thomas Harney who underwent the first ever Endoscopic Vein Harvesting procedure for Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery at University Hospital Galway. L:R Liesta Lisaba, Theatre Nurse; Dr Alan Soo, Consultant Cardiothoracic Surgeon; Thomas Harney, patient; Amanda Flaherty, Operating Department Assistant and Lisa Owens, Clinical Nurse Manager 2, Theatre. 

The article above is specific to the following Saolta hospitals:: 
University Hospital Galway (UHG)