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open heart surgery
The patient’s chest is held open by a sternal retractor while Dr. Whitlock lifts the heart to take a closer look at the surrounding blood vessels.
February 6, 2018

Up Close: Open heart surgery

Take a sneak peek inside an open heart surgery at Hamilton General Hospital (HGH). More cardiac surgeries occur at HGH each year than any other hospital in Ontario.

Pictured is a coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) procedure performed by Dr. Richard Whitlock and his team. A CABG procedure is performed in some patients who have severe coronary artery disease (CAD), the most common form of heart disease. Coronary artery disease happens when arteries in the heart are blocked by a build-up of plaque. This can lead to chest pain (angina) and heart attack due to lack of oxygen to the heart. In a CABG procedure, surgeons take a vein from the patient’s leg or lung area and use it to create a new channel for blood to flow past the blocked heart artery.