BSIP, LECA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY BSIP, LECA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Open heart surgery. A surgeon's gloved hand holds the heart of a patient during cardiovascular surgery. The surgeon has slipped his hand between the pericardial membrane which surrounds the heart and the heart itself whose surface appears yellow with fat. The chest wall is held open with steel clamps; tubes are attached to major blood vessels to redirect blood flow during surgery. In open heart surgery, a heart-lung machine usually takes over the function of the heart. Cardiovascular surgery may be conducted to treat an obstruction in the coronary arteries (coronary bypass), correct disorders of the heart valves, and in cases of heart transplant.
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