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February 1974

An Improved Method of Harvesting Long Saphenous Vein Grafts

Arch Surg. 1974;108(2):249. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1974.01350260101034

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To the Editor.—The harvesting of saphenous vein grafts requires careful attention to technical detail and is time-consuming. The dissection, especially in the obese person, is often hindered by the variable course of the vein and increases the risks of injury to the vein and of postoperative necrosis of the skin flaps that may follow the undermining necessary to search for the vein.

An atraumatic, disposable vein stripper has proved to be a useful guide in locating the course of the vessel and differentiating the main vein from its branches (Figure). The

Disposable vein stripper serving as a guide in placement of incisions and in differentiating main vein from its branches. guide can usually be passed up the entire length of the greater saphenous vein through a small incision at the ankle. The guide is easily palpable under the skin and serves as a useful landmark in locating the incisions

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