Coronary artery bypass surgery is a treatment option for ischemic heart disease (too little blood reaching the heart muscle). Heart bypass surgery creates a detour or "bypass" around the blocked part of a coronary artery to restore the blood supply to the heart muscle.
Coronary bypass surgery can be performed several different ways, one of the newest and most popular ways to perform this surgery is minimally invasive with the aid of a robot. The robot provides surgeons with all the benefits of traditional open surgery while enabling them to operate through tiny incisions instead of a large incision through the middle of the patient’s chest. With smaller incisions, patients have less pain, easier, faster and better recoveries from surgery.
During the traditional approach, the patient is connected to the heart-lung machine, which adds oxygen to the blood and circulates blood to other parts of the body during the surgery.
Another popular method is to avoid the use of the heart-lung machine. This is called off-pump coronary artery bypass or OPCAB. This operation allows the bypass to be created while the heart is still beating.
Another alternative is the use of smaller incisions that avoid splitting the breastbone. This is referred to as Minimally Invasive Direct Coronary Artery Bypass or MIDCAB. Before surgery, always talk with your doctor about what surgery option is best for you.