Repair of ventricular sepal defect
This photograph shows the surgical repair of a traumatic ventricular septal defect (VSD). A VSD is a hole between the right and left ventricles of the heart and is usually seen as a congenital condition, known as a ‘hole in the heart’. A traumatic VSD, as seen in this case, is a rare complication of chest injury. It might manifest immediately after trauma, leading to heart failure and an inability to stabilise a patient, or it might be delayed and detected months later. Traumatic VSDs can be treated in a variety of ways, depending on the effect they have on the patient. Treatment options range from monitoring and a conservative approach to open surgery, as is depicted here. In this image, the VSD is seen at the bottom, and a bovine patch is being parachuted and stitched into place to seal the defect.

Credit: Henry De’Ath, Royal London Hospital / Wellcome Images
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