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Paediatric heart transplant: surgeon at work

Paediatric heart transplant: surgeon at work

M560/0153

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Credit

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

Caption

Paediatric heart transplant surgery. Without the aid of an operating microscope or magnifying loupes, the surgeon, Dr Leonard Bailey, connects blood vessels to the transplanted heart using sutures 30 microns in width, 1/3 the diameter of a human hair. The patient, a boy in his second month, was suffering from a life-threatening congenital heart defect. Throughout the operation, the function of the heart & lungs was taken over by a machine (far right), & the boy's body temperature cooled to 15 degrees C. With the donor heart in place, his body temperature was gradually restored to normal & the heart induced to begin to beat.

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