Students view open-heart surgery

Stephanie Gee

Physiology students  had a rare opportunity on Wednesday to not only observe live open-heart surgery, but to view to procedure side-by-side the surgeons.

Students arrived at Kaiser Permanente at 6:50 a.m. Before going into the operating room, they were given a lecture on complications that could occur during surgery. The students changed from their street clothes to scrubs, surgical masks, eye-protectors and hairnets.

“I know that it is a moment they will most likely never forget,” Science department chair Ray Cinti said. “Not a lot of people get to see an aorta being clamped. The surgeon said it was his third year as a resident in medical school before he got to stand up close in the operating room.”

The hospital gave students special permission to view the surgery feet away from the patient, and some observed the heart beating out of the patient’s chest and medical personnel pouring of ice over the heart.

“The coolest part of the day was watching the heart beat inside the body while the patient was cut open,” junior Katie Ghotbi said. “One second, it was beating away pretty fast, and the next the heart was stopped and covered in ice chips.”