Gundersen Health System is using an innovative technique, called minimally invasive coronary surgery (MICS), to perform multiple heart bypasses through a small incision. That means surgeons do not have to “crack open the chest” as they do with traditional open heart surgery, and patients recover in about half the time.
Gundersen is one of only a handful of places in the country performing complete heart revascularization using this minimally invasive coronary surgery technique. What that means is our team can perform up to triple and quadruple bypasses through a three- to four-inch incision between the ribs. Performing the surgery this way allows all the bones of the chest to remain intact.
Minimally-invasive bypass surgery offers a number of advantages for patients due to smaller incisions:
- Less pain, blood loss and scarring
- Shorter hospital stay
- Easier recovery with restrictions lifted sooner (2-4 weeks instead of 6-8 weeks with traditional open heart surgery)
- Cardiac rehabilitation can begin sooner
This type of surgery has shown to be as safe and effective as traditional bypass operation. Prem Rabindra, MD, and his team now routinely perform the MICS approach to coronary artery bypass grafting (MICS-CABG) when feasible.
While there are many advantages to minimally invasive bypass surgery, it is not right for everyone. A patient’s size and coronary anatomy are factors that can determine if a patient is an appropriate candidate.