During the past 75 years much progress has occurred in the field of vascular surgery. During this period, contributions from clinical surgeons have stimulated new scientific discoveries which have led to further clinical applications in a mutually perpetuating cycle of surgical advancement. One of the major achievements has been the use of the venous autograft employed as an arterial substitute. First used by Goyanes in 1906 to replace a popliteal aneurysm, a venous autograft was first successfully employed in the United States by Bernheim in 1915. The stepwise development of this aspect of modern vascular surgery is presented, and the role of other related contributions in making its use feasible is reviewed.
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