ANTONIA REEVE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ANTONIA REEVE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Blood bypass tubes being used during heart surgery. The tubes are attached to the patient's body in the groin area, and reroute blood through a heart-lung machine during surgery. A similar bypass at the neck controls blood flow for the head. These bypasses reduce the blood flow around the heart, allowing surgery without fatal internal bleeding. The blood vessels of the groin are also the access point for a balloon valve, which is guided on a catheter through the body arteries to a position in the aorta just outside the heart. Balloon valves are inflated in the artery to block the blood flow from the heart to allow the heart-lung machine to take over.
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