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Role of Intra-Aortic Balloon Pump in Off-Pump Coronary Artery Bypass

Objective: Hemodynamic deterioration during positioning of the heart has been the most critical complication of off-pump coronary artery bypass surgery. Pre-operative use of intra-aortic balloon pump has been shown to prevent this complication in high risk patients. The role of balloon pump in high risk patients has been questioned by our group. We modified the role of balloon pump in our patients, thus avoiding the conversion to cardiopulmonary bypass.


Methods: 4063 off-pump coronary bypass surgeries were performed by a single surgeon in our center, over thirteen years. 130 intra-aortic balloons used between July 2002 and December 2015 were removed from the the-ater, once the distal anastomosis was performed. We studied this group of patients for—time and need for insertion, duration of balloon used, local insertion problems and survival.


Results: Initially, we inserted intra-aortic balloons in high risk patients. We observed that, patients with low ejection fraction and patients with critical left main coronary artery disease were not the ones who actually needed balloon pump support. It was the patients who had ongoing ischemia, with preserved left ventricular function, and ST depression intra-operatively, who needed balloon pump support to perform complete anatomical


Conclusions: Intra-aortic balloon pump has helped us to position the heart without hemodynamic instability, thereby avoiding conversion to cardio-pulmonary bypass. This enabled us to perform off-pump surgery in virtually all areas of the heart, thus maintaining perfect hemodynamics.

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