Features December 2007 Issue

Off-Pump Coronary Artery Bypasses Show Early Benefits

Technique lowers the risk of bypass surgery for many high-risk patients.

If you need coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG), but are considered high-risk due to carotid artery disease, peripheral vascular disease, heart failure, kidney failure, or aortic calcifications, doing the surgery without a heart-lung machine (off-pump CABG, or OPCAB) may be safer. That conclusion was reached in a study of nearly 50,000 patients who underwent CABG and OPCAB in New York state between 2001 and 2004. The study showed that in a "real world" situation, OPCAB reduces early complications and deaths associated with using the heart-lung machine.

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