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Heart Care

Leaders in Beating Heart Surgery

During traditional open-heart surgery, it's necessary to stop the patient's heart and maintain the body's circulation through the use of cardioplumonary bypass (CPB), also called the heart-lung machine.

St. Luke's heart surgeons specialize in off-pump or "beating heart surgery." Unlike traditional bypass surgery, the heart is not stopped during a beating-heart surgery. This approach uses special devices to stabilize the part of the heart the surgeon is operating on.

More than 80 percent of surgeries performed at St. Luke's Hospital are done using the beating-heart technique. No other hospital in the greater St. Louis area performs such a high percentage of beating-heart procedures.

Benefits of Beating-Heart Surgery
Compared to traditional heart surgery, beating-heart surgery has been shown to reduce complication rates and recovery times for patients.

Other benefits of beating heart surgery include:

  • Reduced risk of neurological injury, including stroke and damage to the memory function
  • Better preservation of heart function
  • Less chance for heart rhythm, kidney or liver complications
  • Better survival rate, especially among high-risk patients

Who Is a Candidate for Beating-Heart Surgery?
Most people who require heart surgery are candidates for the beating-heart approach. St. Luke's heart surgeons weigh several factors, such as the location of blocked arteries, a patient's history of past surgeries and the presence of existing diseases.

If you are facing heart surgery, discuss with your doctor the best option for you.