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Paediatric heart transplant: surgeon at work

Paediatric heart transplant: surgeon at work

M560/0143

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Credit

ALEXANDER TSIARAS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ALEXANDER TSIARAS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Paediatric heart transplant surgery. Dr Leonard Bailey, a surgeon at the Loma Linda Medical Centre, California, pauses during the intricate operation to check the infant's vital signs on a monitor. Bailey worked without the aid of an operating microscope or magnifying loupes, using sutures 30 microns in width, 1/3 the diameter of a human hair, to connect blood vessels to the transplanted heart. The patient, a boy in his second month, was suffering from a potentially fatal congenital heart defect. Throughout the operation, the function of the heart & lungs was taken over by a machine, via the connecting pipes visible at bottom.

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