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June 20, 1977

The Saphenous Vein

JAMA. 1977;237(25):2749. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03270520059028

At the symposium on venous problems sponsored by Northwestern University in honor of the eminent surgeon and scholar, Geza de Takats, MD, (Chicago, Dec 2-4, 1976) a number of distinguished participants agreed that unnecessary surgical removal of the greater saphenous vein seriously compromises later arterial reconstruction required by some patients. This opinion deserves amplification for the benefit of every physician and surgeon not in attendance.

Autogenous saphenous vein unquestionably is the best graft currently available for replacement of diseased arteries of medium and small diameter, and probably will remain so through the foreseeable future. Although the techniques of endarterectomy and fabric graft bypass are quite satisfactory when applied to the aorta and its large branches, it is likely that many stunning advances in the surgical treatment of arteriosclerosis of the coronary, renal, popliteal, and tibial arteries would have been postponed, if not impossible, without the availability of saphenous vein. In