Open heart surgery often requires that a patient be placed on a heart-lung machine during the procedure. The heart-lung machine takes over the task of circulating blood through the body. Your surgical team will care for your heart by stopping its beating, lowering its temperature and injecting it with a preservative. Meanwhile, the heart-lung machine maintains the flow of oxygen and nutrients throughout the body. Because of the risks associated with the use of the heart-lung machine, we make every effort to keep each patient's time connected to it to a minimum.
Some open-heart procedures can be done without the use of a heart-lung machine, i.e. with the patient’s heart still beating. We call this technique “off-pump.”
The most common types of open heart surgery performed at UR Medicine are: