The number of aortocoronary bypass procedures increased at the Cardiovascular Surgery Department of the University Hospital in Leuven (Belgium) from 12 patients in 1971 to 650 patients in 1983. A similar evolution took place in the other existing Belgian cardiovascular centers and new departments were created to fill this need. The financial burden of the direct hospital costs of these procedures on the National Health Care program is considerable. The postoperative work-resumption will restore the patient's social dignity, it can increase the patient's personal income and thus decrease the indirect costs such as workmen's compensation; it will therefore improve the cost effectiveness of coronary surgery so that it can be offered to the numerous patients who need it for their survival or for the improvement of their quality of life. Studies about the employment status before and after aortocoronary surgery, as published from other centers, can not be projected on the Belgian situation due to the difference in population cohorts, laws regulating the working conditions, the national unemployment ratio and disability compensations. With this in mind, a study of the preoperative and postoperative employment and its predictability was undertaken.