Off-pump bypass surgery involves the conventional split of the breastbone but, unlike conventional coronary bypass surgery, does not require stopping the heart or using the heart-lung machine.
We use special equipment to stabilize the area of the heart the surgeon is working on. We use the off-pump procedure about 98 percent of the time at Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire. This is a unique approach used in only 5 percent of cardiovascular surgery programs nationally. Physician assistants in cardiovascular and thoracic surgery also use new techniques to minimize the trauma of vein harvest.
In addition to faster recovery times, off-pump bypass patients face lower potential risks of the following complications after surgery:
- Short-term memory loss
- Loss of comprehension
This decreased risk makes it possible for high-risk patients to consider coronary bypass surgery. Hospital stays of as short as three or four days have become quite common with return to work and full activities possible within several weeks following surgery.