Surgery: Bullets in the Heart

Laymen have always been inclined to regard a bullet or a metal fragment in the heart as a sentence of death. And until World War I, most surgeons agreed. Sometimes they could remove the offending object and the patient would live—but the operations were often as deadly as the fragments. Now a 20-year follow-up of World War II injuries shows that, despite all surgery's advances, in many cases it is still better to leave a bullet in the heart.

Zipper Fragments. It is a good rule to leave a foreign body alone unless the heart continues to rebel against its presence,...

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