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Beating heart surgery — or off-pump heart surgery — is a type of surgical procedure for cardiology conditions. Traditionally, heart surgery involves stopping the heart. A heart-lung machine takes over the job of pumping and oxygenating the blood. Beating heart surgery does not stop the heart or use a heart-lung machine. Instead, it uses equipment to stabilize one area of the heart and allow the rest of the heart to beat normally.
The St. Rose - Stanford Clinic Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery Program brings Stanford surgeons with expertise in beating heart surgery to Las Vegas and Henderson, NV. Call Dignity Health - St. Rose Dominican hospitals at (702) 616-4900 or Find a Doctor online to learn if you’re a candidate for this procedure.
One of the most common types of beating heart surgery is off-pump coronary artery bypass (OPCAB). Other types of beating heart surgery include:
Beating heart surgery helps reduce complications and shortens recovery. People who may benefit from beating heart surgery are those at high risk for complications. This includes the elderly and people with complex health problems.
Not everyone is a candidate for beating heart surgery. It may be necessary to evaluate your heart and blood vessels directly at the time of surgery before your surgeon makes the final decision.
The details of the procedure and how long it takes depend on the specific type of surgery you are having and for what condition. This includes whether it is an open surgery requiring an incision into the breastbone (sternum) or minimally invasive cardiac surgery requiring several smaller incisions to access the heart.
While beating heart surgery can be safer than traditional heart surgery, serious complications are still possible. At Dignity Health - St. Rose Dominican, a highly specialized cardiac care team completes a full presurgical evaluation to ensure the benefits of beating heart surgery for you outweigh the risks. Talk with your care team about your risks and plans to minimize them.
Beating heart surgery can reduce the length of your hospital stay and shorten your recovery. However, it is still major surgery and you will need to take it easy for a few weeks afterwards. Ask your doctor about returning to exercise and other strenuous activities. It may take you up to 12 weeks to return to your normal schedule after a traditional open approach for your beating heart surgery. A cardiac rehabilitation program is an effective way to help you recover.