There comes a day in everyone’s life when they realize that the human heart bears no resemblance to that double lobed drawing that shows up on Valentine’s Day cards and cheap tattoos. For most of us, a vague understanding of what it looks like is all the knowledge we need. However, if you are a surgeon, and you are faced with the task of performing a heart transplant, you need to know the ins and outs in a great deal more detail.
In addition to the complexity of the organ, there is also the fact that each person’s specific heart is distinct. Add to that a heart that developed with one or more congenital deformities and you can quickly see that a surgeon is facing a daunting task. Medicine has made a huge number of strides in the last decade in terms of the possibilities for examining the specific heart upon which surgery is to be performed through micro cameras and array of data gathering equipment in order to help prevent the presentation of surprises during surgery. However, each surgery is still somewhat akin to being told that there is a problem at a particular metro station and then given a limited amount of time in which to locate and fix the problem using only a map of the ‘ideal’ metro.Read more