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Buffalo General Medical Center
100 High Street
Buffalo, NY 14203

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Cardiac Services
Endoscopic Vein Harvesting

Thanks to new advances in technology, traditional vein harvesting methods that required large leg incisions in preparation for coronary artery bypass surgery are no longer necessary. Kaleida Health heart specialists can now make one to three small incisions, approximately one-inch in length, to harvest veins. Less trauma to muscle and tissue reduces the risk of complications, promotes faster recovery times and provides less dramatic scarring.

During this procedure, a healthy section of vein is removed from the leg, chest or arm and is transferred to the outside of the heart. This is called a graft. One end will be attached to the ascending aorta, the large artery that carries oxygen-rich blood from the heart to the rest of the body. The other end of the graft will be attached to a coronary artery below the blocked area.

Endoscopic vein harvesting plays an important role in improving the flow of oxygen-rich blood to and from the heart.