Aorta surgery. Artificial blood vessel after being implanted to replace an aneurysm (swelling) of the aortic arch. The aortic arch is the first part of the aorta (the main body artery) where it emerges from the top of the heart. The chest wall has been opened up and blood was rerouted from this area to allow the surgery to take place. The blood flow has now been restored, inflating the new aorta, but the needle is required to allow air to escape from the circulation before restarting the heart. If an aneurysm is not repaired, it may burst and cause fatal internal bleeding. For images of the surgery, see M551/331-336.
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