About Beating-Heart Bypass Surgeries

As the director of cardiothoracic surgery at Decatur Memorial Hospital, Dr. Marvin Derrick has played a key role in introducing open-heart surgery to the hospital and its patients. Now, Dr. Marvin Derrick and his colleagues, Drs. Smith and VanLe, offer beating-heart surgeries in many cardiac cases.

In the beating-heart coronary bypass surgery, surgeons perform the procedure without the use of a heart-lung machine. Also known as off-pump surgery for this reason, the technique allows the patient’s cardiovascular system to perform as normal while surgeons work. This is done using a tissue stabilizer that repositions the heart to provide access to the area where the bypass is needed. The stabilizer also serves to minimize the movement of the cardiac tissue during the bypass itself.

In other respects, the beating-heart bypass surgery resembles a traditional bypass. Surgeons take a vein from the patient’s leg or another accessible area and use it to reroute blood around a blocked artery in the heart. The beating-heart procedure frequently allows surgeons to achieve the same outcome with less pain, minimal bleeding, and a shorter recovery time for patients. However, only an experienced surgeon can determine whether this procedure is appropriate in a particular case.

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