Last Updated on May 26, 2017

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Who operates a heart-lung machine?

The heart-lung machine is operated by a perfusionist.

2. Do they stop the heart during an open heart surgery?

The heart is stopped in most of the open heart surgeries. The cardiopulmonary bypass machine takes the action of the heart during the surgery.

3. How long does it take to perform an open heart surgery?

The duration of a heart surgery depends on the surgery planned. It may take 3 hrs to 10 hrs.

4. What is the difference between a cardiopulmonary bypass and an extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO)?

An ECMO is a special kind of cardiopulmonary bypass that is used for longer-term support ranging from 3-10 days so as to allow time for intrinsic recovery of the lungs and heart. A standard cardiopulmonary bypass is used for short-term support measured in hours like during cardiac surgical procedures.

Also. ECMO is instituted using only cervical cannulation and under local anesthesia while cardiopulmonary bypass is usually instituted by transthoracic cannulation under general anesthesia.

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