The progressively increasing age of the population has been accompanied by an ever increasing incidence of degenerative heart disease. The problem of operating upon a patient whose surgical condition is complicated by a cardiac lesion confronts the surgeon today more and more frequently.
In large numbers of patients with heart disease the need for surgery is imperative. Operative intervention is life-saving in such emergencies as acute appendicitis, perforated viscus, or strangulated hernia. In most types of cancer, surgery is the only means or the best means of prolonging life or affording the possibility of cure. Surgical treatment is also mandatory in conditions such as prostatic obstruction or common-duct stone with which the cardiac patient may be afflicted. Although not necessarily life-saving, surgery certainly may be strongly indicated in other chronic or disabling states, including some hernias, peripheral vascular disease, and peptic ulcer with pyloric obstruction. In spite of the obvious