Beating Heart Bypass Surgery: Things to know

September 12, 2017 Heart Diseases 10801 Views


“The leading cause of heart attacks and strokes is heart blockage”- says WHO. To tackle the increasing incidences of heart attacks, one needs to hit the dominant cause, heart blockages. To deal with the same, we have smart treatment strategies that take care of varying degree of clots. Right from a mini clot to the huge lump that blocks the blood flow.

Administering clot-busting drugs, performing laser therapy, inserting stents and carrying out heart bypass surgeries are some of the treatment options that have established their effectiveness. However, continuous hunt for potent therapy has led to the introduction of another surgical procedure. The surgeons call it the beating heart bypass surgery or off-pump bypass surgery.


Heart Bypass surgery is the medical procedure where the surgeon redirects the flow of blood around the blockage in the coronary arteries. Traditionally, this procedure was performed on a still heart and a machine called heart-lung pump use to take care of the heart’s job of pumping oxygen and essential nutrients to the body while the surgery is being done.

With the advancement in technology and a better understanding of science, the upgraded version of this traditional bypass surgery called the beating heart or off pump bypass surgery has been introduced. Unlike the traditional procedure, the beating heart bypass surgery does not require the heart to stop during the surgery. The surgeons perform the operation while the heart is actively pumping the blood, thereby eliminating the need for a heart-lung pump.

What happens during the beating heart bypass surgery?

  • A typical beating heart bypass surgery generally lasts for 3-6 hours.
  • The surgery begins with the removal of the segment of a healthy artery or vein from the leg, chest or arm of the patient.
  • Next, the surgeon makes necessary incisions in the patient’s chest to access the heart. Since it’s a beating heart surgery, the heart won’t be stopped but stabilized using stabilization device that decreases the heart’s movement at the portion where a surgical procedure is being carried out.
  • Once the heart’s conditions are under control, the surgeon inserts the incised segment of the artery (the graft) on to the blockage area and the blocked arteries attain their natural blood flow rate, marking the successful completion of the surgery.

Benefits of beating heart Bypass surgery

Several studies have shown that beating heart bypass surgery is a step ahead of the traditional surgery. Here are some of the benefits that it offers.

  • Shorter stays in the hospital after surgery
  • Reduced complications since the heart remained active throughout the procedure.
  • Decreased chances of mental acuity, neurological injuries and brain damage.
  • Better success and survival rates.

Risks associated with beating heart Bypass surgery

As with any other surgery, beating heart bypass surgery also involves risk. Some of these risks are

  • Minor infections, allergic reactions, and bleeding
  • Scar formation at site of incision
  • Complications due to graft failure
  • Clotting of blood
  • Injury in blood vessels
  • Injuries at the site from where graft has been obtained
  • Lungs and kidneys related medical issues

Although the success rate of beating heart bypass surgery has established it as a reliable option, the benefits to risk ratio of beating heart bypass surgery may vary from individual to individual depending on his/her lifestyle and severity of the heart’s condition. Therefore, consulting the doctor and discussing the issues from every bit of the corners is always a wise option.

Thinking about getting a heart bypass surgery? Consult the cardiac surgeon near you. 

Login to Health

Login to Health

Our team of writers is dedicated to the healthcare sector. We want our readers to have the best material to understand the health issue, learn about surgeries and procedures, consult the right doctors and finally make the right decision for their health.

Over 1 Million Users Visit Us Monthly

Join our email list to get the exclusive unpublished health content right in your inbox