Minimally Invasive Cardiac Surgical Coronary Artery Bypass Graft

(Also called: MICS CABG, minimally invasive cardiac bypass surgery, keyhole heart surgery)


Some patients, even those with multiple coronary artery blockages, may undergo minimally invasive coronary artery bypass (MICS CABG). This is a less invasive procedure than standard coronary artery bypass surgery.

Coronary artery bypass surgery (CABG) is used to treat symptoms of coronary artery disease that do not improve with medication, lifestyle changes, or minimally invasive procedures, such as angioplasty. During coronary artery bypass surgery, blood vessels are removed from another part of the body and used to reroute the heart’s blood supply past blocked arteries. This prevents the heart muscle from being permanently damaged by a lack of oxygen. MICS CABG allows the bypass to be done through a small incision between the ribs rather than through the larger chest opening required in standard CABG surgery. 


  1. Blood tests, an electrocardiogram, and chest X-rays are done before the procedure.
  2. A consent form must be signed before the operation. Before signing, it is important that you ask any questions you have.
  3. You are then taken by stretcher to the Cardiac Operating Room.
  4. You will be placed under general anesthesia and remain unconscious throughout the operation.
  5. A small incision (cut) is made in the left chest wall, between the ribs, to allow the surgeons access to the heart.
  6. Using specialized surgical instruments through the small incision, surgeons prepare a blood vessel in the chest wall.
  7. This healthy blood vessel is connected to the heart to let blood flow around the blocked portions of the coronary artery.
  8. This process is repeated for additional bypasses.
  9. Once the new vessel is connected, all incisions are closed.
  10. You will stay in the Cardiac Surgery Intensive Care Unit (CSICU) for 24 hours or until intensive care is no longer required.
  11. The next day, you will be moved to a regular hospital room. The usual hospital stay after MICS CABG is four days.

Patient instructions

Bring all your medications (including non-prescription drugs and supplements) with them to the hospital.

You should not eat or drink after midnight the night before surgery.

Additional info

You and your family are asked to attend a class prior to discharge to get instructions for your post-operative care. You will also receive the Cardiac Surgery Patient Guide with information about your specific surgery. A nurse will meet with you and your family members to review all the medications you will be taking once discharged.

Preparing for minimally invasive cardiac bypass surgery

Recovering from minimally invasive cardiac bypass surgery