Medical Definition of Cardiopulmonary bypass

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Cardiopulmonary bypass: Bypass of the heart and lungs (for example, during open-heart surgery). Blood returning to the heart is diverted through a heart-lung machine (a pump-oxygenator) before it is returned to the arterial circulation. The machine does the work of both the heart and the lungs, by pumping blood as well as supplying oxygen to red blood cells.

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Reviewed on 12/4/2018

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