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Definition of Open heart surgery

Open heart surgery: Surgery in which the chest is opened and surgery is performed on the heart. The term "open" refers to the chest, not to the heart itself. The heart may or may not be opened depending on the particular type of surgery.

Source: MedTerms™ Medical Dictionary
http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=19211
Last Editorial Review: 6/14/2012

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