Operation: Heart Transplant
or How to Transplant a Heart in Nineteen Easy Steps
by Rick Groleau
OK, so there's really nothing humorous or easy about heart transplant surgery.
Last year in the U.S., almost 800 men, women, and children died while waiting
for suitable donor hearts. But despite this general shortage of hearts, the
operation was (and is) routinely performed in American hospitals (During
the same period, about 2,300 hearts were successfully transplanted.*) Lasting up
to seven hours (and sometimes longer), the surgery is time-consuming and the work,
intricate and involved. The step-by-step procedure, however, is fairly straightforward
and not at all difficult to comprehend.
Enter our virtual NOVA operating theatre, where you will be given a scalpel and
perform a heart transplant of your own. Yes, our version of the operation has been
greatly simplified. Nevertheless, all of the basic steps are outlined in this
feature, and by the end of the operation, you will have a pretty good idea of
what's involved in taking the heart of one human and making it work in another.
Have no fear. The surgeons by your side will guide your every move and prevent
you from taking any missteps.
Your patient has been anesthetized and is otherwise prepared for the operation.