Minimally invasive heart bypass surgery is done without stopping the heart and putting the patient on a heart-lung machine. A 3 to 5 inch incision is made in the left part of the chest between the ribs. This incision is much less traumatic than the traditional heart bypass surgery incision which separates the breast bone. Minimally invasive heart bypass surgery allows the patient less pain and a faster recovery.
David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.