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1983: PBS Broadcasts Live Open Heart Surgery
February 23, 2021  | By TV WW  | 2 comments
 
On this day in 1983, 97 PBS stations across the country broadcast television's first live open-heart surgery during a special entitled The Operation.

During the program, co-produced by Phoenix PBS affiliate KAET and the Arizona Heart Institute, viewers watched Dr. Edward Diethrich and his 12-member surgical crew repair the heart of retired insurance salesman Bernard Schuler. In addition to offering occasional narrative (along with two non-operating show hosts) Diethrich answered several call-in questions from viewers.

KAET followed the groundbreaking broadcast with telecasts of additional, pre-taped surgeries.

 
 
 
 
 
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2 Comments
 
 
random guy
I remember watching this in sheer amazement
Aug 9, 2020   |  Reply
 
 
Patrick
I wonder how long Mr. Schuler lived after the operation. Both my parents had cardiac bypass surgery. My dad had the operation in 1990; it bought him 23 more years. My mom had it in 2003; it bought her seven.
Feb 23, 2017   |  Reply
 
 
 
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