OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to assess clinical complications of limbs undergone harvesting of the great saphenous vein for venous coronary artery bypass graft surgery using bridge technique. METHODS: Fourty-four patients who had undergone CABG using the great saphenous vein harvested by the bridge technique over more than 3 months ago were randomly selected. The exclusion criteria were the harvesting of both saphenous veins, prior saphenectomy of the contralateral limb, edema caused by a systemic etiology, such as heart, renal, thyroid or hepatic diseases and venous insufficiency of the lower limbs as characterized by swollen varicose veins both with and without trophic changes. The age, gender, diabetes, time of surgery and occurrence of complications, such as edema, paresthesia, infection, lymphorrhea, erysipelas and deep venous thrombosis, were assessed. The assessment was clinic and diagnosis of the diabetes was performed by the preoperative exams. The chi-square, Fisher and Student's t tests were used for statistical analysis with an alpha error of 5%. RESULTS: The time between surgery and assessment ranged between 3 and 187 months with a mean of 47.3±42.5 months. Infections of the saphenous harvest site were detected in 25% of the cases, edema in 52.3%, paresthesia in 29.5%, erysipelas in 9.1%, lymphorrhea in 4.5% and deep venous thrombosis in 2.3%. There was no association between diabetes and complications. CONCLUSION: The saphenous vein harvesting using bridge technique for coronary artery bypass grafting does not eliminate clinical complications, such as paresthesia, infection and edema of the saphenous vein harvesting site.
Saphenous vein; Myocardial revascularization; Postoperative complications; Coronary artery bypass