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How does a surgeon operate on a beating heart?

When a surgeon performs a procedure on a beating heart, he or she uses an octopus suction stabilization device. This device uses tiny suction cups that attach themselves to the heart to hold it steady. The device accomplishes this by lifting heart tissue and holding it while it is being operated on.

A surgeon operates on a beating heart by giving the patient anesthesia, then putting equipment to stabilize the heart while it beats which will allow him to sew a vein graft or arterial graft on the heart. He usually uses less invasive technique including the robot , ports and limited incisions if possible. The surgeries offered on a beating heart would include pericardial window or opening the sac to the heart, as well as coronary artery bypass using the left internal mammary artery. However, the valve surgery would require a more open approach and the heart would not be beating in this type of surgery. The less invasive surgeries have become more popular and further trials are being done now to assess their efficacy versus the gold standard of a routine open surgical approach.

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