Cardiologists in some medical centers are exploring two alternatives to coronary bypass surgery in efforts to ?nd less invasive and less expensive ways to treat coronary artery disease. Both of these alternatives are prom- ising, but the results and long-term outcome are still being evaluated.

Port-Access Coronary Artery Bypass (PACAB or PortCAB)
For this procedure, your heart is stopped and a heart-lung machine assumes its function. The surgeon makes small incisions, called ports, in your chest and may remove part of the rib over your heart. He or she performs bypass grafting through these ports, viewing the work on video monitors rather than directly.

Minimally Invasive Coronary Artery Bypass (MIDCAB)

This procedure is done without the heart-lung machine, while your heart is still beating. It is used only when one or two arteries are being bypassed. The surgeon creates the small ports described above, and also makes a small incision directly over the blocked artery, so that he or she can view the work area directly, instead of on a monitor. Usually, an artery from the chest wall is used for this procedure.