Endoscopic Radial Artery Harvest for Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting: Initial Clinical Experience
Background: Recently, an endoscopic technique was developed to harvest the radial artery (RA) via a 3-cm wrist incision in patients undergoing coronary artery bypass graft (CABG). The aim of this study was to evaluate our initial clinical experience with this technology.
Methods: Data were prospectively collected on 75 consecutive patients undergoing CABG with endoscopic RA harvest using the Ultra-Retractor (CardioVations, Somerville, NJ, USA) and the harmonic scalpel (Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Cincinnati, OH, USA).
Results: There were 66 men (88%) and 9 women (12%) with a mean age of 60 years (range, 31-77 years). Forty-eight (64%) of cases had non-elective surgery. Thirty-one (41%) of patients had diabetes. Sixty seven percent of the operations were performed on pump and 33% off pump. Average RA harvest time was 66 minutes (range, 25-120 minutes) with a significant learning curve (75 minutes for the first 20 cases and 63 minutes for the last 50 cases). Two (2.6 %) radial arteries were discarded, one because of extensive calcifications and the other because of damage to the conduit. No patients suffered death, perioperative myocardial infarction, or stroke. There was one reexploration of the forearm for a tunnel hematoma. Follow-up was achieved in 100% of patients and averaged 3.6 months (range, 0.5-13 months). Two patients died during the follow-up. There were no myocardial infarctions or reinterventions, with 96% of patients in functional class I /II. There were no motor deficits. There were no sensory deficits in the distribution of the lateral antebrachial cutaneous nerve, but transient mild dorsal thenar numbness or paresthesias were observed in 86% of patients. Cosmetic results were defined as good to excellent in 82% of patients. Conclusions: Short-term results of endoscopic RA harvest are excellent. There is a significant learning curve. Long-term follow-up as well as structural and functional assessments of the conduit are indicated.
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