The past decade has brought forth an impressive display of clinical achievements in the field of cardiac surgery. As recently as 1948 there were only three congenital cardiac lesions then amenable to surgical treatment. These were patent ductus arteriosus, coarctation of the aorta, and the systemic-pulmonary artery anastomotic procedure for tetralogy of Fallot. In effect, the interior of the heart represented an important barrier to progress, the last anatomic frontier of the many that have confronted surgeons through the generations.
The present important advance in cardiac surgery has been the development of the open operation, in which the surgeon sees precisely what has to be done within the cardiac interior chamber and then proceeds to carry out the necessary reparative measures in a dry field, unhurriedly.
Every advance such as this brings the possibility of a fuller life to many who are at present disabled or handicapped. The magnitude of
LILLEHEI CW, WARDEN HE, DeWALL RA, STANLEY P, VARCO RL. Cardiopulmonary By-Pass in Surgical Treatment of Congenital or Acquired Cardiac DiseaseUse in Three Hundred Five Patients. AMA Arch Surg. 1957;75(6):928-945. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1957.01280180060009