Grey’s Anatomy Performs the Heart Institute’s McGinn Technique

The McGinn's Technique
The McGinn's Technique

Staten Island, NY -- Looking to “bypass the ordinary,” during last week’s episode titled: “The Bed's Too Big Without You,” the Grey’s Anatomy team at Seattle Grace Hospital was challenged with treating a radical tumor in the chest. After printing a 3D model of the surgical area, Dr. Alex Karev commented that the best course of action to access the chest and successfully remove the mass would involve “The McGinn Technique.”

What Dr. Karev didn’t explain is that the McGinn technique is a minimally invasive approach that gains access to the heart without a zipper incision and need for a heart-lung machine.

Also know as Minimally Invasive Cardiac Surgery/Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting (MICS CABG –pronounced “mix cabbage”), the technique is an “off-pump,” continuously beating Staten Island University Hospital, The Heart Institute, Joseph McGinn, Grey's Anatomy, Grey's Anatomy episode “The Bed's Too Big Without You”, The McGinn Technique, MICS CABG, Minimally Invasive Cardiac Surgery/Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting, multi-vessel coronary artery bypass surgery pioneered by Dr. Joseph McGinn at the Heart Institute.

“Even though this is a fictional scenario, the essence is that patients can do better with less invasive procedures like ours. Physicians can apply solutions in very dire situations with decreased surgical trauma,” Dr. McGinn explained. “A patient can only tolerate a certain amount of tissue damage during any procedure, so in the scenario that the show depicted, an approach that minimizes injury is a must.”

“Most of the bypass surgeries done in this country right now are done in a traditional way. The large incisions (7”) created in the front of the breast bone (developed in the 1960s), where the heart is completely stopped, and then the bypasses are created. Our approach allows surgeons to work between the ribs (without breaking bone) through a 2” incision,” said McGinn.

Grey’s Anatomy’s primetime shout affirms McGinn’s belief in their approach, “There’s no question that this adds to the validity of our approach that not only are other physicians starting to use it, but it’s gotten out there that patients and lay people are looking for it too.”

“Our clinical findings and published data is proving more and more the benefits of MICS CABG,” said Dr. McGinn. “People want less invasive, people don’t want a big old incision, and they don’t want their chest cracked open -- that’s the reality of life, and we’ve been able to deliver that to our patients.”

To learn more about the Heart Institute, visit

Benefits of MICS CABG include:

·         Less pain (no broken bones)

·         Lower risk of wound infection

·         Fewer restrictions, including no driving restrictions

·         Faster recovery, many patients discharged from the hospital within two to three days and can return to work within two weeks

·         Improved cosmetic outcome (only three small incisions to heal)

Grey’s Anatomy Transcript:

Karev: “You sure you don't wanna do a sternotomy? Now you have something to say? Where were you yesterday? You should've showed me this.

Grey: Karev, what's your point?

Karev: Well... [Sighs] I would do McGinn's technique to access the chest with less invasiveness to avoid diaphragmatic hernia postradiation.

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