Abstract This study employed particle image velocimetry (PIV) to validate a numerical model in a complementary approach to quantify hemodynamic factors in distal coronary anastomoses and to gain more insights on their relationship with anastomotic geometry. Instantaneous flow fields and wall shear stresses (WSS) were obtained from PIV measurement in a modified life-size silastic anastomosis model adapted from a conventional geometry by incorporating a smooth graft–artery transition. The results were compared with those predicted by a concurrent numerical model. The numerical method was then used to calculate cycle-averaged WSS (WSS cyc) and spatial wall shear stress gradient (SWSSG), two critical hemodynamic factors in the pathogenesis of intimal thickening (IT), to compare the conventional and modified geometries. Excellent qualitative agreement and satisfactory quantitative agreement with averaged normalized error in WSS between 0.8% and 8.9% were achieved between the PIV experiment and numerical model. Compared to the conventional geometry, the modified geometry produces a more uniform WSS cyc distribution eliminating both high and low WSS cyc around the toe, critical in avoiding IT. Peak SWSSG on the artery floor of the modified model is less than one-half that in the conventional case, and high SWSSG at the toe is eliminated. The validated numerical model is useful for modeling unsteady coronary anastomotic flows and elucidating the significance of geometry regulated hemodynamics. The results suggest the clinical relevance of constructing smooth graft–artery transition in distal coronary anastomoses to improve their hemodynamic performance.