Off-pump coronary artery bypass (OPCAB) surgery offers the option to operate on a beating heart during coronary bypass surgery without relying on the heart-lung machine. This procedure reduces some of the risks associated with the use of the heart-lung machine.
To assist the surgeon while operating on the beating heart, medications are used to slow the heart rate, eliminating the need for a heart-lung machine. To allow for access to the entire heart, there must be a sufficient amount of cardiac displacement. This is accomplished by using specialized instruments to prop the heart in a position that allow the surgeon access to closed arteries.
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