Information for the public
Keyhole saphenous vein harvesting is done under general anaesthesia at the same time as coronary artery bypass grafting. An endoscope (a thin flexible tube with a camera on the end) is inserted through a small cut near the knee. Carbon dioxide gas is sometimes blown under the skin to help make space around the vein. The clinician then uses the endoscope to see the vein and remove it with as little damage to the leg as possible. A compression bandage is applied to the leg to minimise bleeding and bruising. The rest of the operation is done in the same way whichever way the vein is removed.