Thirteen patients were submitted to direct myocardial revascularization (saphenous vein graft) without the use of an artificial oxygenator. The perfusion was done by a left ventricle-to-aorta bypass and autogenous oxygenation. Most patients had three grafts implanted plus endarterectomy of the distal right coronary artery. There was one hospital death that was apparently not related to the method used. Perfusion time ranged from 45 minutes to 4 hours. Body temperature during perfusion was kept between 25 and 30° C. Perfusion flow was maintained between 25 to 50 ml per kg of body weight per minute. Ischemic, hypothermic cardiac arrest was employed. We demonstrated for the first time that perfusion for this kind of heart surgery could be done with no artificial oxygenators and, apparently, is safer for the patients. There were no bleeding problems even in perfusions as long as 4 hours. There was no respiratory dysfunction, and artificial respiration was used for only 6 to 12 hours. The patients awoke at the end of surgery with no signs or symptoms of central nervous system damage, and vasopressor drugs were rarely used after surgery. Although the experience is very small, it suggests that many postoperative problems, especially those related to bleeding and respiratory dysfunction may be reduced or eliminated by this new method.