Modern surgery has contributed many outstanding scientific achievements the most recent of which include successful operations on the organs of the chest. This has been made possible in great part by a better understanding of the problems caused by an altered physiology of the respiratory and cardiovascular systems. As a result, newer and better methods in anesthesia have been devised, and operative technic has been greatly improved. Today the morbidity and mortality of thoracic surgery is not much different from that of surgery elsewhere in the body. In addition, the use of the sulfonamide compounds has greatly reduced the incidence of fatal postoperative respiratory infections— complications more frequently seen in chest surgery.
Suturing of heart wounds is a relatively recent procedure. The first report in the literature of a human heart to be sutured was by Cappelen1 in September 1895. However, this resulted in a mortality, as did the
WEINSTEIN M. STAB WOUND OF THE HEART: REPORT OF A SUCCESSFUL OPERATION. JAMA. 1943;122(10):664–668. doi:10.1001/jama.1943.02840270022008
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