Anesthesia for coronary artery bypass graft surgery continues to evolve in concert with changing epidemiology, advances in technology and pharmacology, and refinement in technique. The profile of the cardiac surgical patient is increasingly characterized by factors such as advanced age, reoperation, combination procedures, complications of acute intervention, and more complex disease. Preoperative risk factor assessment offers a means of strategic planning and intervention. Choice of anesthetic agents, muscle relaxants, and anti-ischemic medications affects both perioperative management and long-term outcome. Transesophageal echocardiography and ST segment monitoring are being applied more broadly. Advances have been made in managing postoperative blood loss. As in other areas of medicine, economic issues have become important considerations in anesthesia for the cardiac surgical patient.