Beating Heart CABG

In traditional bypass surgery surgeons use the heart-lung machine to stop the heart so that bypass can be performed. The heart-lung machine continues to mechanically pump oxygen and nutrients to the body and is also referred to as a pump.

Beating heart bypass surgery or the off pump surgery (OPCAB) is a relatively new procedure that is becoming a popular treatment option. It is performed without the heart- lung machine while the heart is still beating.

Benefits of Beating Heart CABG

Beating Heart CABG is ideal for patients who are at increased risk for complications from cardiopulmonary bypass, such as those who have vascular (blood-vessel) disease, previous strokes or liver, lung or kidney dysfunction.

The advantage of beating heart CABG is that surgeons can perform multiple bypass grafts at the same time on all areas of the heart including the posterior (backside). This implies that the surgeon can perform three bypass grafts (triple), four bypass grafts (quadruple) or more as the blood vessels don’t look smaller as they do in stopped heart on pump.

Beating Heart CABG ensures benefits such as decreased length of hospital stay, reduction in need for blood transfusions, less trauma due to the elimination of the heart-lung machine, etc. It also reduces complications such as temporary memory loss and stroke.

Dr. Ramji Mehrotra says that after surgery patients should:

  • Follow doctor’s advice regarding diet, activity and lifestyle changes after surgery and during recovery
  • Take medication as per directions
  • Notify doctor immediately of any concerns like fever, pain, bleeding or problems at the incision site