Anatomy watches open heart surgery

Students enrolled in Francesca Mast or Marcia Bellamy’s anatomy classes have dissected everything from playdough to chicken wings to a sheep’s heart. But this week, the students were given an opportunity to do something unordinary; they were granted permission to watch a live heart surgery at INOVA Cardiac Center.

The field trip is, for most, a once in a lifetime experience, allowing students to connect what they learn in the classroom to the real world. Students who attended got to speak with Linda Bogar, head of the INOVA Transplant Team, and watch her perform a triple-bypass surgery.

16 students attended the heart surgery yesterday, March 28, and 24 other students watched on Monday, March 27. All students that attended were enrolled in Bellamy’s anatomy class. Mast’s students are scheduled to attend heart surgeries in late April.

“It was so cool but it didn’t hit me that it was a real person on the table,” senior anatomy student Vicky Lu said. “It was interesting to see a real surgery right in front of your eyes.”

The surgery is a unique experience for students to visualize how the body works and what open heart surgery looks like.

“Learning about the heart helped me understand what they were doing during it,” Lu said.

The field trip is not mandatory for students to attend but it is strongly advised that students who are given the chance to attend go because it is such a unique experience. Although the anatomy teachers try to make this field trip happen every year, that isn’t always the case, so it is strongly recommend that students take advantage of the opportunity.
“[I would] definitely recommend students attend the trip [it’s eye opening],” Lu said.