The optimal timing of surgical revascularization after acute myocardial infarction remains controversial. Higher mortality after emergency coronary artery bypass has been documented. We retrospectively reviewed 278 patients who underwent coronary artery bypass between 2005 and 2007. The time from onset of myocardial infarction to surgical revascularization was the basis for dividing patients into 3 groups: surgery was performed within 24 h in group 1, at 24-72 h in group 2, and after 14 days in group 3. There was a definite relationship between the timing of revascularization and the outcome of surgery. Group 1 had a mortality rate of 11.7%, group 2 had 7% mortality, and group 3 had 2.5% mortality. Group 1 had the highest incidence of postoperative complications. Surgical revascularization within 24 h of acute myocardial infarction was associated with significantly higher risks of mortality and morbidity than procedures performed after 72 h.