Surgery: Fascination & Lessons

Five operations in as many weeks trained world spotlights on the surgical feat of transplantation of the human heart. From the fact that this operation could be repeated so often and so soon after the historic first in Cape Town, with survivals up to 18 days, four conclusions emerged:

1) Surgically, the procedure is entirely feasible for a sufficiently experienced, well-coordinated team (in reporting job offers from U.S. hospitals, South Africa's Dr. Christiaan Barnard said that he would go only if some of his 30-man team could go with him).

2) While the rejection reaction had been the transplanters' biggest bugbear,...

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