BioMed Class Experiences Live Open Heart Surgery


Meghan Braddy, Reporter

On Wednesday, April 3, students from science teacher Joylyn Ichiyama’s Principles of Biomedical Sciences classes went into the LGI during school to watch a live open heart surgery. The surgery, performed by doctors at Advocate Health Care Hospital in Chicago, Illinois, was rescheduled from a previous date after the patient backed out. On Wednesday, students were able to view the surgery step by step, and it was very beneficial for students, such as freshman Ashleigh Banks, who are considering pursuing a medical career.

“It was a really great experience, and it gave me an insight into what actually goes on in a heart surgery. I’m glad that I was able to view the surgery, and it made me want to have a job in the medical field,” said Banks.

During the live video, the surgeons performed a bypass surgery. They replaced a coronary artery of the heart with the saphenous vein from the leg using a camera that ran down into the patient’s leg. They did this so they could find a vein to put in the heart, and eventually slow the heart down to replace the heart valve. It was a very long process, especially for the students who had never seen a surgery be performed before. Some students even had a harder and more nauseating time watching the surgery because of this.

Freshman Jaecy Nelson said, “I thought it was pretty cool, except for the beginning when they were cracking open the chest and showing the camera that ran through the patient’s leg.”

The students taking BioMed were able to actually view everything they’ve been learning about so far, and it has since made several of them interested in the medical field as a potential career option. This is the first year BioMed has been introduced as an option for students’ schedules, and a good amount of students decided to take BioMed because they aspire to work in the medical field. Students, such as Nelson, also learned a lot about the different aspects of cardiothoracic surgery and how that is different compared to other surgical specialities. It was an experience that students can say they’ve seen before, and imagine a world where they could potentially be surgeons.

“I learned why they had to do the procedure and how they got to the area where they could operate at a safe point so they’re not interfering with anything else in the body. I’ll never forget watching the surgery, because I learned so many things that day,” said Nelson.