From January 1996 to May 1997, minimally invasive direct coronary artery bypass (MIDCAB) through a small anterior thoracotomy without cardiopulmonary bypass was completed in 31 of 32 patients (Male: Female=1.9:1, mean age=64.6 years, 11 (34.4%)>70 years). Twenty, five, and seven patients had one, two, and three vessel disease respectively. Twelve patients presented with unstable angina, seven had prior myocardial infarction, one had a pre-operative intra-aortic balloon pump, and four had prior coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG). Eight were diabetic, five had chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and one was morbidly obese. Our newly developed coronary artery immobilizing and occluding device facilitated the coronary anastomosis. There were no post-procedure deaths, no peri-operative myocardial infarctions, and no strokes. One patient required intra-operative conversion to conventional CABG for an intramyocardial target vessel. Two patients had conversion after post-operative angiogram demonstrated incorrect target identification and early graft occlusion. Four patients had limited access graft revision (two kinks, one graft injury, and one haemorrhage). Thirty-one of the 32 patients were followed from 0.5 to 16 months and 30 reported no post-operative cardiac events (one required PTCA to another vessel). We conclude that MIDCAB is safe and effective.