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Heart removed, rebuilt, put back

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BALTIMORE, Aug 29, 2003 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- Doctors at the University of Maryland Medical Center say they have successfully removed a patient's heart, rebuilt it and put it back.

In one of the most extensive surgeries of its kind in the United States, the 12-hour operation was performed last week on Sandra E. Lanier, a 46-year-old Massachusetts woman who has been battling a recurring, life-threatening heart tumor, the Washington Post said.

After the tumor returned for a fourth time, Lanier decided to try the surgery during which her heart was removed and placed in a bucket of ice for nearly six hours.The rare tumor, called a myxoma, had been removed during three previous operations since 1997 but would return every two years.

To prevent another recurrence, cardiologists Bartley P. Griffith and James S. Gammie decided they needed to remove all the cells on the heart that could decay into another tumor.

Copyright 2003 by United Press International.

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