Heart Surgery With or Without the Heart-Lung Machine (Video)

Heart surgeons have options when performing a coronary artery bypass

Dr. Sabik in surgery

Heart surgeons can use one of two techniques to perform a coronary artery bypass. They can perform it using the heart-lung machine, which means the heart is stopped during the procedure and the machine takes over, or they can perform the bypass while the heart continues to beat. It is a little more technically challenging to do it off-pump when the heart is beating, but it can be done just as effectively. I will explain the different reasons for each procedure. The key is to find a surgeon that is comfortable with both options.

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Understanding coronary artery disease (CAD)

Understanding coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery

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Learn more about the heart-lung machine and the role of the perfusionist during surgery


Joseph F. Sabik III, MD

Joseph F. Sabik III, MD, is Chairman of the Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery at Cleveland Clinic and directs the Clinic’s Cardiothoracic Training Program.