oa Cardiovascular Journal of Africa - Congenital heart surgery - past, present and future

Volume 5, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1995-1892
  • E-ISSN: 1680-0745



Congenital heart surgery is one of the most precise forms of surgery practised today; the surgeon is required to confirm the diagnosis intra-operatively, reconstruct the heart three-dimensionally to attain an anatomically and functionally satisfactory repair, and complete this surgery within a very limited time. For the outcome to be successful, a dedicated and efficient team is required in which the cardiologist is expected to make an accurate pre-operative diagnosis, the anaesthesiologist and perfusionists are required to ensure that the myocardium, brain and other vital structures are adequately protected during surgery and that biochemical homeostasis and haemostasis are achieved at the end of the operation; the surgeon needs to effect an accurate repair, and the intensivist has to support the myocardium and manipulate the pulmonary and systemic vascular beds adequately to allow the heart to recover from the surgical intervention.

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