Coronary bypass patients have worse outcomes 'off-pump'

Surgeons have been attempting to perform coronary bypass surgery without a heart-lung machine--an approach known as "off-pump"--in the hope that doing so will help patients protect neurological functioning, and perhaps better protect their organs. Unfortunately, this method doesn't seem to produce the results surgeons desire, a new study suggests.

A study appearing today in the New England Journal of Medicine found that about 10 percent of patients getting an off-pump procedure had faced adverse consequences, including death, major complications, heart attacks or repeat bypasses. When surgeons used the pump, only 7.4 percent of patients suffered these consequences, according to researchers who looked at bypass outcomes for more than 2,200 adults having bypass surgeries at 18 VA medical centers.

Not only that, patients didn't seem to enjoy the advantages surgeons were hoping for, such as improved mental functioning, better organ function, or even shorter hospital stays.

To learn more about the study:
- read this HealthDay News item

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