Heart Institute Encyclopedia

Closed-Heart Surgery

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What are the differences between "open-" and "closed-" heart operations?

Although many operations using cardiopulmonary bypass today do not require a cardiac chamber to actually be opened (such as coronary artery bypass surgery in adults), we use the terms "open-" or "closed-" heart surgery to describe whether a procedure uses the heart-lung bypass machine support.

The terms "open-heart surgery" and "closed-heart surgery" date from the early days of cardiac surgery (the 1940s and 1950s). The earliest cardiac operations were all for congenital heart disorders, and heart-lung bypass machine support was required to allow surgeons to open the heart to work on its internal deformities.

Closed-heart surgery does not use the cardiopulmonary bypass machine.

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Benefits of Closed-Heart Surgery

After Surgery

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Last Updated: 11/2012