Vital Signs: "We Can Take His Heart Out, Remove the Tumor, and Put It Back In"
A patient’s heart tumor is all but inaccessible to
his surgeons. The only way to deal with it:
Remove the heart and operate on it outside the body.
I was in the middle of a normal clinic day, seeing candidates for surgery, when a nurse told me that one of them had arrived with a diagnostic video. When I had a free moment, I walked over to a computer and put the CD into the drive. As the program booted up, I noticed that the video was a cardiac MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) study. I clicked through the images, and what I saw was frightening. A large mass was growing in the patient’s heart, in the back wall of the left atrial chamber, perh...
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