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Abu Dhabi Hospital Offers Minimally Invasive Procedure

Cardiac surgeons at the Shaikh Khalifa Medical City (SKMC) are now performing the minimally invasive "endoscopic vein harvesting" procedure for heart by-pass surgeries in the UAE, instead of traditional open surgeries. Heart by-pass, or coronary artery by-pass grafting, reroutes blood around blocked arteries in the heart to improve its flow and oxygen to the heart, surgeons explained. The procedure involves taking, or harvesting, a vein or artery from another part of the body, typically the leg, and sewing or grafting the vessel to the coronary artery to bypass the clogged artery and restore the blood flow. Endoscopic Vessel Harvesting (EVH) offers patients a minimally invasive alternative for obtaining the vein or artery. Dr Norbert Augustin, Chairman of the Cardiac Sciences Institute at SKMC, said: "Endoscopic Vessel Harvesting has tremendous potential benefits for patients, such as reducing leg wound complications and offering a much better cosmetic result. "We are pleased to be able to offer this less-invasive option to our patients at SKMC using the expertise of our team. We have already performed 30 cases using this new method with excellent results." Using this method, the vessel can be removed through one to three very small incisions, he said. An endoscope is connected to a video camera and inserted into the incision, providing the surgeon with the view needed to find the vessel. He then creates a working tunnel in order to remove the vessel with minimal stress on the leg. Dr Augustin said the benefits of EVH are reduced pain, reduced blood loss, reduced risk of infection, shorter hospital stay, faster recovery, faster return to work and excellent cosmetic results.

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