Bypass operations are done using the heart lung machine, which makes it possible to stop the heart beating during surgery. This is called ‘On Pump Bypass’ because the heart lung machine pumps the blood through our body instead of the heart, which is stopped. While the heart is stopped, the surgeons connect the grafts to the coronary arteries at appropriate places.
‘On Pump’ Bypass Operations used to have certain disadvantages. Because the blood comes in contact with a foreign substance (the tubing of the heart lung machine), the patient may have an allergic reaction, infection, may require blood transfusion and may require a longer hospital stay. However, recent advances in ‘On Pump’ surgery technology has made it safe.