Endoscopic vein harvesting Impact of learning curve on results and rehabilitation
AbstractBackground: The tendency of modern surgery is towards the reduction of invasiveness. The aim of this study is to evaluate the impact of the learning curve, the reliability, the short term results and the advantages in terms of rapid rehabilitation of endoscopic vein harvesting (EVH) in a consecutive series of 20 patients operated on of aorto-coronary bypass surgery. Methods: Between February and June 2005, 20 patients between 61 e 82 years of age underwent EVH with the use of VasoviewÂ® 5 (Guidant Corporation, Indianapolis, USA). To evaluate the impact of learning curve on the total operative time, patients were divided in 4 chronologically consecutive groups (G1, G2, G3, G4). Intraoperative characteristics and short term results were evaluated. Results: The mean velocity and the mean time of harvesting in G4 were 0,68 cm/min and 45 min. respectively, similar to the time required for a scheletonized left internal mammary artery harvesting. In the first 5 patients 2 conversions were required, one of them related to the EVH technique. No bleeding, functional impairment or infective complications are reported. Active mobilization was possible in every case in the first post-operative day. Conclusions: EVH is a reliable technique and the learning curve can be limited to the first 5 cases. The foreseeble reduction of infectious complications, the absence of pain and the immediate mobilization of the leg allow a rapid and effective rehabilitation.
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