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It is altogether fitting and proper that this second edition of Cardiac Surgery in the Adult reaches publication just in time to celebrate the 50th anniversary of open heart surgery. On September 5, 1952, at the University of Minnesota, F. John Lewis successfully closed an atrial septal defect in a 5-year-old girl using general hypothermia. She remains well to this day. On May 6, 1953, at the Jefferson Hospital in Philadelphia, John H. Gibbon, Jr., successfully closed an atrial septal defect in a 16-year-old woman during 26 minutes of cardiopulmonary bypass. The cork was out of the bottle, but it remained for C. Walton Lillihei and John W. Kirklin of the Mayo Clinic to make open heart surgery a safe and practicable approach, applying it first to congenital heart disease and then to heart disease in the adult. It is interesting that for a brief period in the 1950s only the University of Minnesota and the Mayo Clinic, 90 miles apart, were available to the patient requiring open heart surgery.

Fifty years later, surgery of the heart is a procedure performed many times every day. Another significant change is the emergence of pediatric cardiac surgery as a stand-alone specialty. This is despite the fact that the arterial switch procedure for transposition had its origin in direct coronary artery surgery. Indeed, many other crossover points exist between pediatric and adult surgery. Hopefully, this interdependence will not disappear as these two disciplines seemingly go their separate ways.

Readers of this volume will be rewarded by finding all they need to know in one well-edited book. There remains, however, a supreme golden rule in heart surgery, which states that, on the morning of postoperative day one, the open heart surgical patient must be awake, alert, and ready for extubation and transfer to regular floor care. It goes without saying that the bleeding, as always, has stopped!

Norman E. Shumway, M.D., Ph.D.
Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery
Stanford University School of Medicine

Copyright 2003, 1997 by the McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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