Gundersen Lutheran Health System One of Few Heart Centers in the Nation Performing Minimally Invasive Multiple Bypass Surgery

Jun 01, 2010, 12:30 ET from Gundersen Lutheran Health System

LA CROSSE, Wis., June 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Surgeons at Gundersen Lutheran Heart Institute in La Crosse, Wis., are using an innovative technique, called minimally invasive coronary surgery (MICS), to perform multiple heart bypasses through a small incision. That means surgeons do not have to "crack open the chest" as they do with traditional open heart surgery, and patients recover in about half the time.

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Gundersen Lutheran is one of only a handful of places in the country performing complete heart revascularization using this mini-invasive technique. What that means is surgeons at Gundersen Lutheran perform up to triple and quadruple bypasses through a three- to four-inch incision between the ribs. Performing the surgery this way allows all the bones of the chest to remain intact.

"People wonder, 'How in the world can you do multiple bypasses through such a small incision?' You have to see it. It truly is possible and, importantly, has been shown to be as safe and effective as the traditional bypass operation," says Gundersen Lutheran Heart Institute cardiovascular surgeon Prem Rabindra, MD, who now routinely performs the MICS approach to coronary artery bypass grafting (MICS-CABG) when feasible.

Mini-invasive bypass surgery offers a number of advantages for patients. "Because they have a smaller incision, patients experience less pain, take less time to recover and spend less time away from work and other activities. We often have to tell our patients to 'slow down!' It's not something I'd expect to say to patients right after major heart surgery," Dr. Rabindra comments.

While there are many advantages to minimally invasive bypass surgery, it is not right for everyone. A patient's size and coronary anatomy are factors that can determine if a patient is an appropriate candidate.

To learn more, go to or contact the Gundersen Lutheran Heart Institute at (800) 362-9567.

About Gundersen Lutheran

Headquartered in La Crosse, Wis., Gundersen Lutheran Health System is a multi-specialty group medical practice with hospitals and clinics throughout western Wisconsin, southeastern Minnesota and northeastern Iowa that provide emergency, specialty and primary care services. Gundersen Lutheran Health System consistently ranks in the upper 5% of hospitals in the country, and has been named a 100 Top Cardiovascular Hospital six times. To find the latest news releases, go to

SOURCE Gundersen Lutheran Health System