Woodland Heights Physician Performed "Beating Heart" Bypass

A first for an East Texas medical center - doctors at Woodland Heights Medical Center in Lufkin have performed the first beating heart surgery at the facility. It was performed Monday on a patient with severe coronary artery disease.

Unlike traditional bypass surgery, the heart continues to beat during surgery and it is much less invasive. It does not require the patient to be hooked onto the heart-lung machine during surgery - something that is stressful on the patient's body.

Another benefit of the beating heart surgery is less recovery time for patients and a shortened hospital stay. Doctors said patients are taken off the respirator almost immediately after surgery.

The technique is especially beneficial for treating two types of patients: diabetics and those with hypertension.