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The Expansion of Open-Heart Surgery and Cardiac Catheterization 

The Expansion of Open-Heart Surgery and Cardiac Catheterization
The Expansion of Open-Heart Surgery and Cardiac Catheterization

W. Bruce Fye

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date: 06 May 2021

Several groups began performing open-heart surgery during the late 1950s as simpler and less expensive heart-lung machines were marketed. Some surgeons attempted to develop operations to treat obstructed or leaking heart valves. Doctors who hoped to invent operations to treat diseased aortic and mitral valves (on the left side of the heart) stimulated the invention of new cardiac catheterization techniques. Until the mid-1950s, catheterization was limited to the right side of the heart. Catheterizing the left side of the heart presented several problems that were eventually solved. This procedure improved the accuracy of preoperative diagnosis, which contributed to better surgical outcomes. Cardiac catheters that were used to withdraw blood samples or measure intracardiac pressures could also be used to inject radiopaque contrast into the heart. This technique, angiocardiography, produced shadow pictures of the heart’s chambers that complemented data derived from catheterization and traditional clinical methods.

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