To pump blood throughout your body, your heart contracts (squeezes) and relaxes in a rhythm. A natural "pacemaker," the sinoatrial (SA) node, sits at the top of the right atrium and controls this rhythm by sending out a series of electrical impulses. The impulses travel from the SA node and down an electrical pathway along the heart muscle walls, causing the heart to contract. The muscular heart wall is called the myocardium. The myocardium serves as a strong pump to move blood through your blood vessels.
Mark T. Tawil, MD
Specialty: Thoracic Surgery
- thoracic surgery
- vascular surgery
Location and Office HoursThoracic Surgical Associates
6659 Frank Ave NW
North Canton, OH 44720
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- Affinity Medical Center, Doctors Campus
- Alliance Community Hospital
- Mercy Medical Center
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How does the heart pump blood through the body?
Intermountain Healthcare answered
How should I choose a surgeon for a heart procedure?
Anthony Komaroff, MD, Internal Medicine, answeredWhen choosing a surgeon to perform your bypass surgery or angioplasty, you probably want to know which surgeon has the lowest mortality rates. Some states post report cards online that rate cardiac surgeons based on the outcomes of their patients.
While the report cards certainly merit a look, it's important to keep a few precautions in mind. For one thing, the ratings are based on very small numbers. A busy cardiac surgeon may perform 200 bypass operations a year. The average death rate for bypass surgery is 2%. That means that a difference of one or two deaths in a year can make a surgeon look very bad or very good. Mortality rates can also be skewed by how sick a patient was before the surgery. Surgeons who operate on sicker patients may end up looking bad, even if their surgical skills are excellent.
An important factor to consider when evaluating a surgeon is how many procedures of a certain type the doctor performs every year. Choose a physician with relatively more experience, especially if you have health issues that could cause problems during the surgery or recovery.
Finally, the quality of the hospital where you have your surgery is just as important as the quality of the surgeon. The best hospitals have key diagnostic tools, clear-cut safety systems to minimize medication mistakes and surgical errors, and a favorable nurse-to-patient ratio.
What does the heart consist of?
SecondsCount.org answeredThe heart is divided into four chambers, the left and right atria (the top chambers) and the left and right ventricles (the bottom chambers). A thick wall called the septum separates the left side of the heart from the right. Four valves that act as one-way doors within the heart carefully regulate blood flow through the heart’s chambers keeping blood on a “one-way street” through the heart and out to the body.
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