Abstract Sixteen months' experience with intraaortic balloon pumping in a cardiac surgical unit is reported. Eight patients presented in cardiogenic shock and required immediate pumping prior to cardiac catheterization and operation. Sixteen patients undergoing elective cardiac procedures had pumping in the immediate postoperative period because of myocardial depression. Twenty of these 24 patients were able to be restored to cardiovascular stability. Mortality and morbidity in these patients are discussed as well as complications of intraaortic balloon counterpulsation. Our current methods of balloon insertion and deployment are presented.