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cardiac surgery, coronary artery bypass, nursing care, off-pump bypass, surgical revascularization



  1. Shatzer, Melanie B. MSN, RN, CCRN
  2. George, Elisabeth L. PhD, RN, CCRN
  3. Wei, Lawrence MD


Coronary artery bypass grafting is performed on the beating heart and thus requires the use of cardiopulmonary bypass. To avoid the complications associated with cardiopulmonary bypass, off-pump bypass (OPB) is viewed as a desirable alternative. Technological advancements have made OPB a viable option in an expanding population of patients. As a result, the number of OPB surgeries performed annually in the United States has increased. Critical care nurses are increasingly likely to provide care for patients after off-pump surgery. The differences between on-pump and OPB surgeries affect the postoperative nursing care requirements. While there are many common aspects of postoperative cardiac care for these 2 groups of surgical patients, there is a need to focus on the unique aspects of care for OPB patients. Despite promising short-term results in OPB patients, questions surrounding this procedure remain. Studies are under way to determine long-term graft patency.