ANTONIA REEVE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ANTONIA REEVE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Aorta surgery. Artificial blood vessel (white, lower centre) being stitched in place 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 has been rerouted from this area to allow the surgery to take place. The heart's coronary blood vessels (one at upper centre) have been attached to the new aortic arch to restore the blood supply to the heart muscle when the blood flow is restarted. 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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