Southcoast Hospitals are among the first hospitals in New England to use a new less-invasive procedure to harvest the radial artery for use during cardiac bypass surgery, reducing pain and scar size and lowering infection risk in heart surgery patients.
During cardiac bypass surgery a healthy blood vessel from the arm, leg or chest is used to reroute blood around the blockage.
The new procedure, called endoscopic radial artery harvesting, only requires one small incision, lessening pain and lessening the risk of infection and scarring. Presently offered for the leg, Southcoast now offers the same less invasive procedure for the arm.
"In the past it was necessary to make a long incision to take a vein from the leg or an artery from the arm. Patients complained after the surgery about the pain and permanent scarring, and occasional infection," said Thomas Carr, MD, Director of Cardiac Surgery for Southcoast Hospitals Group.
"At Charlton we perform endoscopic vein harvesting on the leg which requires only one small incision instead of a long incision. Recent advances in technology and advanced training now make it possible to use the same less-invasive technique on the arm.
"Patients no longer have to walk around with scars that run the entire length of their leg or from their wrist to their elbow after cardiac surgery."
Three honored with inaugural Trustees' Medal
The Southcoast Trustees' Medal is presented to individuals who have shown exemplary service, selfless giving and commitment to the goals and mission of the health system and hospitals.
"The Southcoast Trustees' Medal for Outstanding Service is considered the very highest honor the Southcoast Boards can bestow — one that marks a lifetime of selfless giving and commitment to the health care of our communities," said Gilbert L. Shapiro, MD, Chairman of the Southcoast Health System Board.
Learn more about the inaugural winners.