Abstract The purpose of this study was to compare the clinical outcomes of stenting and minimally invasive coronary artery bypass grafting (MIDCAB) in patients with proximal left anterior descending (LAD) coronary artery disease. The Patency, Outcome, Economics of Minimally invasive direct coronary bypass (POEM) study demonstrated that MIDCAB had similar safety and long-term efficacy for LAD revascularization compared with conventional coronary artery bypass grafting. Although LAD stenting is superior to conventional balloon angioplasty, whether it is comparable to MIDCAB is not known. We identified a matched population of 429 consecutive patients with 1-vessel disease who underwent elective proximal LAD stenting and compared their clinical outcomes with those of the 152 patients in the MIDCAB group of the POEM study. The in-hospital event rate was similar in both groups, except for a shorter length of hospital stay with LAD stenting compared with MIDCAB (2.68 vs 4.07 days, p <0.0001). At 6-month follow-up, the incidence of death and Q-wave myocardial infarction or that of cerebrovascular accident was not significantly different between these 2 groups. However, target vessel revascularization was significantly higher with LAD stenting than MIDCAB (13.3% vs 6.6%, p = 0.045). In the subgroup of patients without diabetes, all clinical events were similar in both groups, and the benefit of a shorter hospital stay associated with stenting was maintained. Compared with MIDCAB, LAD stenting is associated with higher repeat revascularization rates but offers the advantage of shorter hospitalization. For nondiabetics with proximal LAD disease, stenting may be the revascularization strategy of choice.