Is coronary artery bypass an open heart surgery?

Yes, coronary artery bypass grafting surgery is usually an open-heart surgical procedure in which the chest is cut open and surgery is performed directly on the heart.

During coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG), your surgeon will obtain one or more blood vessels from other parts of your body (arteries from the arm or veins from the legs) and attach it to either above or below the narrowed portion of the coronary artery. This bypasses the blocked coronary artery and one or more blood vessels may be obtained depending on how many blockages exist. There are three ways in which CABG may be performed:

  • Traditional CABG: This involves making a cut through the breastbone to gain access to the heart. Your heart will temporarily stop beating with the use of medicines, meanwhile, a heart-lung bypass machine is used to pump your blood. This procedure lasts for about 3-6 hours.
  • Off-pump CABG: Also called beating-heart bypass grafting. This also involves opening the chest but a heart-lung bypass machine is not used as the heart will not be stopped instead it will be steadied with a mechanical device.
  • Minimally invasive CABG: This involves tiny chest incisions and does not require a machine either.

Sometimes, CABG may also be done through less invasive methods such as minimally invasive direct coronary artery bypass (MIDCAB), in which the chest bone is not cut, instead, a smaller cut is made towards the left side of the chest and robotic-assisted CABG.

Disclaimer: We do not assume responsibility for the use of the provided information or its interpretation. Our efforts are towards providing current and reliable information; however these should not be considered, or used as a substitute for diagnosis or treatment.


Alexander Marmureanu, M.D.

Alexander Marmureanu , M.D.

See Profile »
Willis H. Wagner, M.D.

Willis H. Wagner , M.D.

See Profile »
Philippe Lemoine, M.D.

Philippe Lemoine , M.D.

See Profile »
Farshad Malekmehr, M.D.

Farshad Malekmehr , M.D.

See Profile »
Keith Yabumoto, M.D.

Keith Yabumoto , M.D.

See Profile »
Thomas Togioka, M.D.

Thomas Togioka , M.D.

See Profile »
Duane Bridges, M.D.

Duane Bridges , M.D.

See Profile »
Shephal Doshi, M.D.

Shephal Doshi , M.D.

See Profile »
Ibrahim Helmy, M.D.

Ibrahim Helmy , M.D.

See Profile »
Farshad Nosratian, M.D.

Farshad Nosratian , M.D.

See Profile »
Basil Younes, D.O.

Basil Younes , D.O.

See Profile »
Howard Staniloff, M.D.

Howard Staniloff , M.D.

See Profile »
Shazia Hasan, M.D.

Shazia Hasan , M.D.

See Profile »