The Townsville Hospital in north Queensland has become the first public hospital in Australia to perform a new vein transplant procedure.
Almost all patients who are about to undergo cardiac by-pass surgery need to have a vein ‘harvested’ from their leg to graft onto their hearts.
The procedure involves making an incision from ankle to groin to remove the vein.
But a cardio-thoracic surgeon at the Townsville Hospital has started using a much less invasive technique.
Dr Robert Tam is the first surgeon in an Australian public hospital to use ‘key hole’ surgery to remove the leg vein.
He says it only requires a two centimetre incision in the patient’s knee.
“The patient will have less pain or minimal pain and more importantly the wound infection is almost eliminated.”
Dr Tam is conducting clinical trials to compare the two types of procedures.