Human heart transplantation is a medical miracle that saves the lives of thousands of patients every year. A heart transplant can add years, sometimes even decades, to a very sick patient's life. It's a game-changer, and it's breathtaking to watch. It's also EXTREMELY GRAPHIC. You've been warned.
Digg found this video, posted to YouTube by Videos for Medicos, that gives a six-minute tour of a surgery that can often take up to 12 hours. You get to see it all: the first incision that opens the skin of the patient's chest, the splitting of the sternum (00:17), removal of the diseased heart (02:36), and placement of the donor heart in the chest cavity (03:47).
At 05:13, the surgeon reaches in with the defibrillator paddles to jump-start the new heart, and after reaching in to feel for proper heartbeat from all four chambers, the patient is ready to be closed up. It looks as routine as an oil change on your car, but it's a lifesaver for the patient on the operating table.
Wanna see it? Yeah? Are you sure? There's lots of blood. And it's kinda gross. Here we go:
Modern medicine is just breathtaking.