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The Matter of the Heart: A History of the Heart in Eleven Operations
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The Matter of the Heart: A History of the Heart in Eleven Operations

4.27  ·  Rating details ·  103 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
‘Thrilling… The “dizzying” story of heart surgery is every bit as important as that of the nuclear, computer or rocket ages. And now it has been given the history it deserves’ Sunday Times


For thousands of years the human heart remained the deepest of mysteries; both home to the soul and an organ too complex to touch, let alone operate on.

Then, in the late nineteenth centur
...more
ebook, 432 pages
Published June 1st 2017 by Vintage Digital
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Sarah
Oct 01, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2017, non-fiction
1/5 stars.

When I purchased this book I was expecting similarity to 'Do no harm' by Henry Marsh. Instead what I got was a confusing historical account, Morris has a tendency to jump frequently between time periods and places, and an overly descriptive play-by-play of the pissing contests between cardiac surgeons in the last century. Boring. Morris' knowledge on anatomy and physiology is shaky at times, it is obvious through his descriptions that he is not a healthcare professional, though it can
...more
Lesley
May 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I work in cardiology and found the human stories behind the development of these important procedures really fascinating. Easy to read and so interesting
Tom Schulte
Nov 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
Wow. An amazing tour of heart surgery from antiquity to the age of robot surgery: aneurysms, Blue baby syndrome (cyanosis), artificial hearts valves, catheterization, pacemakers... Wow, people committing suicide due to the Chinese torture of their early, clicking pacemakers and artificial valves. Also, note to self, Charles Lindberg emerged from reclusion not with an artificial heart, but having a had a hand in developing the first perfusion pump, precursor of the heart lung machine.

Wow. Vladimi
...more
Robert
Jan 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A fascinating book. Each chapter opens with an anecdote around one of the 11 surgeries mentioned in the title, e.g., Chapter 2 recounts the first Blalock-Taussig-Thomas procedure operation. Author Thomas Morris then goes on to recounts the history behind this medical innovation to provide context to the challenges doctors and technicians faced in developing it. There were a couple of times these incidents were repeated because some innovations were significant to more than one of the surgeries.

A
...more
Patricia Baker
Mar 18, 2018 rated it liked it
I liked this book..separate chapters detailing the development of different heart problems and the solution of it..I am amazed that each problem was being addressed in two separate locations with somewhat similar results..it was interesting to find out how much of an ego boost it was to be the "first" to find a solution to a problem..also found that Denton Cooley was at the first blue baby surgery and then went to Houston and did many life changing surgeries there...thank goodness for the develo ...more
kevin  moore
Jul 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Awe-inspiring, actually.

Neither a dry retelling of surgeries nor a medical textbook, this series of stories cover the problem, the research and most telling, the trial and error nature of cutting edge science.

As interesting as the medical developments are, the human elements surrounding the patients, researchers and physicians are absorbingly told. Every field of endeavor brings its own personal motivations and here, yes, you see glimpse of super egos at play (needed on occasion) but the dedica
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Sophie Lyons
Apr 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Having been born with CHD, as soon as I saw this book I knew I needed to read it. It had such beautiful illustrations of the heart at the front, and one of the first chapters talked about the procedure which saved my life twice as a baby.
There's so much history behind procedures which are taken for granted now or seen as routine.

Throughout most of the chapters I went on a bit of a journey from intrigued to a bit queasy to disappointed to impressed to relieved it's now 2018.

Anyone interested in c
...more
Argum
I won a free copy of this book from Goodreads First Reads.

Each chapter of this book centers on a single surgery, but it takes it back to the roots of that surgery and early failed or forgotten experiments. Very interesting look at cardiac surgery. The focus on the public reactions to many of these things was very cool. Having grown up in the time since this became normal, I had no idea that at one point not long ago people thought any operation on the heart was voodoo and messy with nature too
...more
Lynn
Apr 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science, history
A fascinating look at the development of open-heart surgeries in recent history. The book offers one the appreciation of how medical advances that we take for granted today, were once riddled with seemingly insurmountable problems that generations of surgeons overcame with persistent problem-solving, challenging the boundaries of possibility and conventional thinking through reason, and trial and error in the face of costly failure.
Amy
Mar 31, 2018 rated it liked it
Several of the chapters were very interesting. Mostly because they applied to my condition or those I’ve heard of. The majority of the book I felt was more textbook and dull. I also did not like how each chapter started off with the first every of whatever the topic was. Ie each chapter started in the 1785 or whatever. It would have been more fluid, for me, to move continuously forward throughout the whole book.
Sue Wetzel
Mar 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well written back stories around the progress made in cardiovascular surgery and interventional cardiology. I liked reading about the patients involved, and the personal experiences that shaped those who made history in cardiac medicine and surgery. It was organized, and thoroughly researched information that flowed nicely. I would really recommend this to just about anybody.
Vrinda
Apr 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A completely fascinating read, which really makes you appreciate the wonders of cardiac surgery. Full of exciting anecdotes and told with an entertaining tone. Would recommend to everyone.
Dеnnis
Jun 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: forbes
Представьте, что вы инженер-механик. Один крайне трудный клиент предлагает вам много денег за разработку некоего устройства. ТЗ такое: «Требуется небольшой прибор, размером с кулак, способный перекачивать жидкость под высоким давлением со скоростью пять литров в минуту, но при первой необходимости он должен пропускать через себя уже до двадцати литров в минуту. В нём не должно быть движущихся деталей, и он должен обеспечивать непрерывную работу в течение восьмидесяти лет». Скорее всего вы откаже ...more
Joseph
Jul 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
If you're interested in medical docos then read this fascinating and well researched book into heart operations.
Ciaran McAneny
rated it it was amazing
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Skye Peng
Jan 11, 2018 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: medicine-related
Jan 12

Although I have not finished the book yet, I could not suppress the urge to praise Morris's work. I was surprised by how readable this book is even for a high school student with very limited knowledge towards human anatomy. Well, I have the admit, the reading journey that I have to take with this scientific book is far different from the other ones. I have to stop at least four times at every page (so far) to look up the definitions of medical and non-medical words, sometimes even researc
...more
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