Beating Heart Surgery: Why is it Advantageous?

Posted On Jun 10, 2022

Dr. Rakesh Deshmane

Consultant - CTVS

Manipal Hospitals-Goa

Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery Hospital in Goa

Beating-heart surgery refers to the procedure that is performed without stopping the heart. During this surgery, surgeons use a special instrument to stabilize the part of the heart on which they are operating. The heart continues to circulate blood to the muscles during the procedure. This surgery significantly mitigates the risks of complications usually associated with temporarily stopping the heart during the procedure.

A beating heart bypass surgery is called an off-pump coronary artery bypass surgery or OPCAB as bypass surgery is the most commonly performed type of heart surgery with a beating heart. 

Manipal is one of the best cardiothoracic and vascular surgery Hospital in Goa that provides the latest and the most innovative surgical treatment for virtually every type of cardiac and thoracic conditions, during both emergency and elective cases.

Why is Beating Heart Surgery Recommended?

A beating heart procedure offers several benefits over an on-pump heart bypass surgery:

  • Prevents physiological effects of being put on a heart-lung machine, such as reperfusion injury – when the flow of blood back into a stopped heart causes damage to the heart muscle, sometimes leading to heart attacks and arrhythmias

  • Higher chances of survival, especially for geriatric people who have undergone multiple heart surgeries or those with other serious health conditions

  • Preserves heart function better

  • Fewer liver or kidney complications

  • Shorter hospitalisation period and quicker recovery

  • Less bleeding and thus, the lesser requirement for blood transfusions

  • Lesser chances of neurological problems

  • Lower infection rate

How is a Beating Heart Surgery Performed?

  • The surgeon removes a section of a healthy artery or vein, also known as a graft, from an area in the body.

  • One end of the graft is attached by the surgeon to an area of the heart right above the blockage in the artery, while the other end is attached to an area of the coronary artery below the blockage.

  • After the graft is properly attached, blood flow to the heart gets restored. 

The biggest challenge in beating heart surgery is that it can be very difficult to sew or suture when the heart is beating. Doctors overcome this challenge by using a stabilization system which keeps the heart steady. The stabilization system comprises a tissue stabilizer and a heart positioner. While the heart positioner moves and holds the heart in a position which allows the surgeon to access the blocked arteries easily, the tissue stabilizer holds a small area of the heart so that the surgeon can work on it. 

Beating heart surgery is performed by a team of specialists in a hospital. While some procedures are minimally invasive and involve the insertion of catheters through arteries, others involve making incisions in the chest to provide direct access to the heart. 

Cardiovascular and thoracic surgeons in Goa at Manipal Hospitals diagnose and surgically treat conditions of the heart, chest and lungs.


Dr. Rakesh Deshmane

Consultant Cardiothoracic & Vascular Surgery

Manipal Hospital, Goa

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