Beating Heart Surgery
Cardiothoracic Surgery of Savannah offers one of the most exciting advances in open-heart surgery - "beating heart" or "off pump" coronary artery bypass, also known as OPCAB.
In conventional coronary artery bypass surgery, the patient is placed on the "pump" (cardiopulmonary bypass). The heart is the stopped, the bypass procedure completed, the heart is restarted, and the patient is taken off the pump. Many procedures have been done this way and the procedure is generally very safe. However, many side effects of bypass surgery are felt to be due NOT to the surgery itself, but to the effects of cardiopulmonary bypass or the "pump". Some of these include stroke, mental confusion, bleeding, fever, and fluid accumulation.
Surgical techniques and instruments have been developed which allow us to do bypass procedures while the heart is beating and without the need for the "pump". This has been shown to decrease the above side effects of surgery and make the surgery less invasive. This will lead to a shorter hospital stay and a quicker recovery. Most patients who need coronary artery bypass can have "beating heart" or "off pump" procedures.
Your surgeon may discuss "beating heart surgery" with you if you are a good candidate.