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Jornal Vascular Brasileiro

Print version ISSN 1677-5449


ROSSI, Fabio Henrique et al. Soft moldable universal tunneler in bypass surgery for lower limb ischemia. J. vasc. bras. [online]. 2010, vol.9, n.1, pp.21-24. ISSN 1677-5449.

Background: Bypass surgery for lower limb ischemia involves the creation of a tunnel for accommodating the vascular graft. Tunnel shape and length depend on the site chosen for proximal and distal anastomosis. Tunnelers currently employed are rigid metallic cylindrical structures. Objective: To test the use of a moldable universal metallic tunneler in bypass surgeries for lower limb ischemia. Methods: The assessed tunneler is a hybrid, modular, cylindrical structure made of moldable stainless steel wire, with a handle on the proximal end, a tapered distal tip with two interchangeable diameter options on the distal end, and an outer cylindrical polyethylene sheath. The same tunneler was used in all bypass surgeries for lower limb ischemia, regardless of type, shape, and length of the graft chosen. Results: Tunneler moldability and deformation capacity made it possible to adapt and use the same device in combination with several different types of grafts. The tapered distal tip with two diameter options allowed the tunneler to be used in surgeries performed with both reversed saphenous vein and synthetic graft. Conclusion: The soft moldable universal tunneler tested in this study can be used safely and proved beneficial in bypass surgeries for lower limb ischemia. The versatility and low production cost involved may lead to replacement of the rigid tunnelers currently employed.

Keywords : Graft; lower limb; bypass; ischemia.

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