Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery

two doctors talking

Some people whose coronary artery disease cannot be effectively treated with medication alone or interventional therapies need coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery. During this operation, the surgeon takes a blood vessel from another part of your body and uses it to reroute blood around blockages in your coronary arteries to restore blood flow. NewYork-Presbyterian cardiac surgeons are internationally known for their expertise and excellent CABG outcomes. Patients come to us from across the country and around the world for this operation, which we are experienced performing even in older patients and those with other health conditions.

Traditional CABG

During this open-heart surgery, the surgeon operates through a large incision in your chest while your heart is stopped and your body is supported by a heart-lung machine. In today’s healthcare environment, a measure of the sophistication of a cardiac surgery program is the proportion of these surgeries performed with mammary arteries (blood vessels in the chest wall). While the standard approach is to use one mammary artery, our cardiac surgery program uses two of these arteries — a more complicated procedure, but one that results in a better outcome for patients. Nationally, 6 percent of all CABG surgeries are performed using two mammary arteries; at NewYork-Presbyterian, that number is 70 percent, placing our program among the top in the country.

Minimally Invasive CABG

Some patients can have a less invasive CABG procedure, performed through small incisions. The surgeon makes a small (2-3 inch) incision in the tissue layer between your ribs. This method—made possible by a specialized surgical robot and a heart stabilizer developed by our surgeons—results in less chest trauma and blood loss, less discomfort after surgery, shorter hospital stays, and a faster recovery than traditional CABG. NewYork-Presbyterian's cardiac surgeons are leaders in the use of minimally invasive surgery to perform CABG.

"Off-pump" Heart Surgery

We can often perform CABG without using a heart-lung machine. With this "off-pump" (also called "beating heart") technique, the surgeon uses a mechanical stabilizing device to restrict the movement of your heart so the surgery can be done while your heart is still beating. Off-pump surgery can reduce the risk of stroke and bleeding associated with coronary bypass surgery in some patients. Your surgeon will let you know if this is an option for you.

"Hybrid" Heart Surgery

Our doctors are developing and evaluating new therapies that combine elements of bypass surgery with interventional cardiology approaches to treat certain patients. This allows some people to receive the benefits of minimally invasive treatment, such as stent placement, along with those of CABG.


NewYork-Presbyterian & Weill Cornell Medicine surgeons discuss the full range of options for coronary artery bypass grafting for those who cannot manage their coronary disease medically.


Robotic Minimally Invasive Heart Surgery

Our teams include experts in the use of totally robotic endoscopic surgery to perform CABG. Robotic heart surgery is a form of minimally invasive heart surgery that uses smooth and dexterous robotic instruments and a robotically controlled high-definition 3D camera to perform surgery through very small incisions — with a degree of precision and visualization that would be difficult or impossible without the robot.

Experts in Cardiac Surgery

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NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center

Cardiothoracic Surgery

NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center

Heart Surgery