If you need a coronary bypass for a blockage in your heart, you may be a candidate for a minimally invasive direct coronary artery bypass (MIDCAB). Less invasive than traditional open heart surgery, this procedure involves a small incision over the left chest rather than the standard sternotomy (large, vertical incision in the chest) performed in open heart surgery.
MIDCAB is typically used for patients who require a single vessel bypass to their left anterior descending (LAD) artery.
How the MIDCAB Procedure Works
During a heart bypass, your surgeon uses a healthy blood vessel grafted from your leg, chest wall or arm to create a new pathway around the blocked artery. For traditional bypass surgery, your heart must be temporarily stopped, and your blood must filter through a heart-lung machine.
During a minimally invasive bypass, your heart may be slowed rather than stopped completely. You will be put under general anesthesia for this procedure.
The procedure usually takes about two hours. After the MIDCAB, you will need to recover in the intensive care unit (ICU) for 1-3 days and will be closely monitored by your healthcare team to ensure a safe recovery.
You will likely need to complete cardiac rehab following this procedure.