What is off-pump coronary bypass or “beating heart” surgery?
Off pump coronary artery bypass (OPCAB) refers to bypass surgery performed without stopping the heart and without going on the heart lung machine. It can be performed using the conventional chest sawed open approach or it can be performed robotically.
MIDCAB (minimally invasive direct coronary artery bypass) employs a smaller incision and a robot while TECAB (totally endoscopic coronary artery bypass) is performed totally robotically. Whereas the surgical trauma of these minimally invasive off pump techniques is less than the conventional approach there lingers controversy and debate in the surgical literature about long term patency of the bypass grafts.