Open heart surgery

Any operation on the heart in which it is stopped temporarily and its function taken over by a mechanical pump. The main forms of open heart surgery are correction of congenital heart defects (see heart disease, congenital), surgery for narrowed or leaky heart valves (see heart-valve surgery), and coronary artery bypass surgery. Once the pump is connected, the heart is opened, and the defects repaired. Surgical hypothermia is used to keep the heart cool and help prevent damage to the heart muscle from lack of oxygen (see hypothermia, surgical).


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