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USC - University of Southern California Cardiothoracic Surgery at University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine
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Glossary of Terms

Off-Pump Surgery (Beating Heart Surgery)
A coronary artery bypass grafting surgery that is done without the use of the heart-lung machine (known as the "pump"). In off-pump, or beating heart surgery, the patient’s heart is allowed to continue beating while the coronary artery bypass grafts are being placed on the patient’s coronary arteries. This is in contrast to traditional "on-pump" heart operation, which is done with the support of a heart-lung machine. In an on-pump heart surgery, a heart-lung machine does the work of the heart and lungs during the phase of the operation when the heart is being repaired. The heart is normally stopped during these operations. In general, only coronary artery bypass operations are done without heart-lung machine support, while most other heart conditions require heart-lung support in order for the surgery to be performed.


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