Sternotomy and CPB

Today, I learned how to perform a median sternotomy, and setting up the cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) machine for cardiac arrest. Below is a video of what an actually Sternotomy looks like. I will be going into depth about this procedure later into this blog post.

Phase 1: Median Sternotomy

Phase 2: Cannulation for CPB and Cardiac Arrest

Phase 3: Decannulation Following Separation from CPB

Phase 4: Sternotomy Closure



A median sternotomy procedure provides access to the heart, lungs, and thoracic region. During a median sternotomy, an incision is made along the sternum vertically and the sternum is divided. It is used for surgical procedures such as a heart transplant, coronary artery bypass surgery, or other corrective surgery for congenital heart defects. After a median sternotomy, many procedures require an incision into the pericardium. This would then consider this thoracic surgery into an open heart-surgery.

Coronary Artery Bypass:

Coronary Artery Bypass grafting (CABG) is a type of surgery that improved blood flow to the heart. Surgeons use the bypass to treat people who have severe coronary disease.

Congenital Heart Defects:

Congenital Heart Disease also called CHD is an abnormality in the heart that develops before birth. It is one of the most common types of birth defects. Symptoms include abnormal heart rhythms, blue-tinted skin, shortness of breath, failure to feed or develop normally and swollen body tissue or organs.

Cardiopulmonary Bypass:


Cardiopulmonary bypass is a surgical technique that places the function of the heart and lungs on a machine temporarily during the surgical procedure. This maintains the circulation of blood and oxygen to the patient’s body.