Off-Pump Bypass Surgery
One of the recent advances in heart surgery is the evolution of “off-pump” coronary-artery bypass surgery. Traditional bypass surgery — where a blood vessel is taken from another part of the body and used to create a new route that “bypasses” coronary-artery blockage — requires the surgeon to stop the heart while a heart-lung machine circulates the patient’s blood until the heart is restarted.
During off-pump coronary-artery bypass surgery, the surgeon operates on a beating heart. Because the patient’s heart has not been stopped, as with traditional bypass surgery, a heart-lung machine is not required to circulate blood. This procedure is generally easier on the patient, avoids the possible complications associated with a heart-lung machine and reduces recovery time with the aid of special surgical equipment and techniques. This technique is not suitable for all patients.