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Actor Bill Paxton's Death Highlights Risks of Heart Surgery

Update Date: Mar 03, 2017 07:10 AM EST

Last Saturday, Bill Paxton suffered a fatal stroke while in surgery. A statement from the family did not give details about the procedure Paxton was in.

However, weeks before the procedure, the actor had an interview weeks earlier for the WTF podcast with host Marc Maron. Paxton said he'd been diagnosed with rheumatic heart fever back in 7th grade. The actor further explained that this condition resulted from an untreated strep throat according to Forbes.

Paxton told Maron that the earliest symptoms he remembered was having wrist pain. He also said the disease can damage one's heart valves. When the podcast host asked if his heart valves were damages, the actor answered yes.

In a career that extends quite a number of years, Paxton has over 90 credits and a few television shows where he played roles that have been remarkable and have left marks with his fans. Paxton is best known for his roles in the films Twister, True Lies,Titanic and Aliens. Paxton also did amazing work in the small screen with Big Love and his new series, Training Day

Following Paxton's death, The Daily Mail reported that surgeries are indeed risky. While some procedures have lower risks than others, there's no operation that has 0 percent risk said Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center's Dr. Bryan Whitson.

A stroke, in simple terms is a brain attack. This usually happens when blood flow in the brain is disrupted or obstructed. Disrupted blood flow cuts the supply of oxygen in the brain which causes brain cells to die and prolonged lack of oxygen can be fatal.

Dr. Whitson cited major causes of death in the operating room and these includes calcium break offs when the heart is stopped and hooked a heart-lung machine to keep oxygen and blood flowing while doctors do their work.

This process can cause fatty deposits and calcium deposits to break travel to the brain and when they block arteries and veins, stroke occurs causing brain cells to die in a matter of minutes.

Another possible cause is air bubbles entering the brain during surgery where it can block a blood vessel and restrict blood flow, also resulting to stroke.

Finally there are patients who have blockages in either neck or head. They are most vulnerable since the existing blockages that meant the brain is not getting enough blood supply.

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