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Chapter 1 - Surgical Approaches to the Heart

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  10 April 2024

Robert H. Anderson
Affiliation:
Institute of Genetic Medicine, Newcastle University
Andrew C. Cook
Affiliation:
University College London
Diane E. Spicer
Affiliation:
University of Florida
Anthony M. Hlavacek
Affiliation:
Medical University of South Carolina
Carl L. Backer
Affiliation:
Cincinnati Children's Hospital
Justin T. Tretter
Affiliation:
Cleveland Clinic, Ohio
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Summary

When we describe the heart in this chapter, and in subsequent chapters, our account will be based on the organ as viewed in its anatomical position.1 Where appropriate, the heart will be illustrated as it would be viewed by the surgeon during an operative procedure, irrespective of whether the pictures are taken in the operating room, or are photographs of autopsied hearts. When we show an illustration in non-surgical orientation, this will be clearly stated.

In the normal individual, the heart lies in the mediastinum, with two-thirds of its bulk to the left of the midline (Figure 1.1). The surgeon can approach the heart, and the great vessels, either laterally through the thoracic cavity, or directly through the mediastinum anteriorly. To make such approaches safely, knowledge is required of the salient anatomical features of the chest wall, and of the vessels and the nerves that course through the mediastinum (Figure 1.2).

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2024

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References

Reference Cited

Cook, AC, Anderson, RH. Attitudinally correct nomenclature. Heart 2002; 87: 503506.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed

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