It is remarkable that after more than 3 decades of the increasingly expanding spectrum of cardiac surgery fluidity still persists in the nomenclature of the categorizations of such surgical procedures. The terms are often used rather loosely. Even when the terms used by one group of authors are self-explanatory with regard to their own article, the same term is often used by other authors to connote a different sense. Furthermore, the same operation or the same category of operation is often designated by different terms by different authors. Clearly some reconsideration of terminology is needed. An accurate and adequate term indicates proper understanding of the principles of the procedure undertaken. Dwight McGoon once commented that “the freedom to continue to innovate and debate about names probably provides a more favorable milieu for the advancement of knowledge and patient care.” However, in biologic sciences all definitions are basically broad guidelines, at best. With these premises in mind, a clear definition of terms of the categories of cardiac operations is proposed.
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