Cardiac Support—Surgeons who work on other parts of the body sometime need to stop circulation or bypass blood flow to safely perform their operations. In order to safely remove some brain tumors the neurosurgeon needs to completely stop blood circulation. The heart surgeons will place the patient on the heart-lung bypass machine and systemically cool the patient down until the heart stops beating. At this point the neurosurgeon has about one hour to safely remove the tumor. The patient is then warmed and the circulation is restored.
Urologic surgeons depend on the heart surgeons to place patients on the bypass machine to shunt blood flow and provide hemodynamic support while they remove complex tumors of the kidney.
Head and neck surgeons depend on the heart surgeons to place patients on the bypass machine to provide oxygen to the blood when they cannot deliver oxygen directly into the lungs when they are removing complex tumors of the neck that obstruct the windpipe.