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Minimally Invasive Heart Bypass Surgery

Cardiothoracic surgeon Dr. Seiichi Noda and SSM Heart Institute at St. Clare Health Center are pleased to introduce minimally invasive heart bypass surgery.



A small incision is made between the ribs and equipment is placed to stabilize the heart. The blocked coronary artery is then bypassed with a grafted replacement vessel.


The smaller incision results in less scarring and a faster recovery and return to normal activities.


Dr. Noda now performs minimally invasive coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) -- more commonly known as open heart bypass surgery -- through a small 3-inch incision between the ribs, rather than the traditional 8-inch incision down the breast bone. Instead of cutting bones, he enters through the ribs on the left side of the chest under the breast.

The procedure is performed while the heart is beating so there is no need for a heart-lung machine. This technique is called off-pump or “beating heart” surgery. Dr. Noda has performed more than 1,400 off-pump procedures giving him valuable experience for the minimally invasive bypass surgery.

Just as with the traditional open procedure, Dr. Noda takes healthy vessels from elsewhere in the body and grafts them in place, re-routing blood around narrowed or blocked coronary arteries.

The advantages of the off-pump procedure coupled with the small incision of minimally invasive surgery add up to a much better experience for patients, highlighted by:

  • Shorter hospital stay
  • Significantly faster return to daily living (patients can go back to work in two weeks versus three months)
  • Reduced risk of infection; no risk of sternal (breast bone) wound infection
  • Smaller incision and less scarring
  • Reduced risk for depression
  • Fewer physical limitations
  • Fewer post-operative lung problems
  • Reduced risk for cognitive problems

Not everyone is a candidate for minimally invasive CABG surgery. It is most appropriate for individuals who have one to three vessels that need to be bypassed. Also, the added time needed to complete the procedure limits its use when the surgery is being performed in an emergency situation.

However, because the procedure is less invasive, it presents an option for some patients who may otherwise be consider too high-risk or compromised to undergo the traditional CABG surgery. These include advanced age patients and those with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Dr. Noda is among a small group nationally to perform this avanced surgical technique

To find out if minimally invasive surgery may be right for you, call Dr. Noda’s office at 314-647-8269.