Heart valve surgery

Heart valve surgery

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Credit: ANTONIA REEVE/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Heart valve surgery. Surgeon carrying out keyhole heart surgery to replace a defective heart valve. He is using special tools to access the heart through a small hole in the patient's chest. The hole (between two ribs) is held open by soft-tissue retractors. A set of metal retractors, not normally used in keyhole surgery, are also being used because this patient has an unusually deep chest. A hand-operated clamp (lower left) stabilizes the area being operated upon. The surgeon is using binocular magnifying lenses. Keyhole heart surgery is less traumatic than open heart surgery (where the rib cage is opened). Photographed in the UK.

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