People were amazed by this surgeon doing open heart surgery on live TV

‘He makes it look like a walk in the park!’: Viewers stunned by surgeon’s delicate skills during two-hour open heart operation shown live on TV

  • WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT. The show showed the gory detail of surgery
  • London surgeon Kulvinder Lall performed open heart surgery on live TV
  • People took to social media to heap praise on Mr Lall and the NHS
  • The series continues tonight at 10pm with a live knee replacement operation 

Viewers were awe-struck last night when they watched an ‘unbelievable’ TV programme showing live open heart surgery.

Operation Live, aired on Channel 5 at 10pm, showed heart surgeon Kulvinder Lall perform an aortic valve replacement in real time.

The two-hour long operation left people watching flabbergasted by the work surgeons do, and many took to Twitter to show their appreciation.

‘Amazing’, ‘astounded’ and ‘overwhelmed’ all featured in people’s praise for the programme, Mr Lall and the NHS, with one remarking he made it ‘look like a walk in the park’.

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London-based heart surgeon Kulvinder Lall performed open heart surgeon on his patient, a 69-year-old known as Kamal, on live TV while filmed it with a camera on his body

Mr Lall, one of the UK’s leading heart surgeons, is based at St Bartholomew’s Hospital in London and performed the procedure on a 69-year-old patient.

Aortic valve replacements are done to repair problems with a valve which pumps blood out of the heart and around the body.

It’s a major operation which can take a long time for people to recover from, but viewers were mesmerised by Mr Lall, saying he made it look easy.

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Adam Foster tweeted: ‘@kulvinderlall making something so delicate look like a walk in the park!’

And Jade, a past patient herself said: ‘I’ve had open heart surgery 4 times … This is amazing yet emotional to watch. I’m forever grateful’.

Si Clark added: ‘Incredible skills and teamwork right there, we should be proud of our nhs and everybody that contributes to it.’

And Lexi Gray said: ‘#OpenHeartSurgery is the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen.’

The programme gave a no-holds barred look inside the work of a surgeon and even inside the human body. 

Kamal, the 69-year-old patient featured on the show, had his heart stopped, a valve from a cow’s heart inserted into his own, then his heart was restarted at the end.

The Operation Live series continues tonight at 10pm on Channel 5, when Steven Millington at the Royal London Hospital will perform a live knee replacement.

Mr Lall and his team drew the admiration of people online – there were many tweets praising the skills of the staff and saying how lucky the UK is to have the NHS

The programme gave a no holds barred look at life on the operating table, showing a close up of an exposed human heart (pictured, the heart covered by a layer of yellow fat)

Lexi Gray said watching the surgery was ‘the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen’

Adam Foster was one of many viewers who was astounded by the skill of Mr Lall and how surgeons could make such a complicated procedure look so easy

Jade, a former heart surgery patient herself, had a similar procedure to what was shown on Operation Live and said it ‘changed my life completely’

Si Clark took the chance to praise the NHS as a whole, commending the ‘incredible teamwork’

On Twitter, user Mark Chadderton wrote: ‘I was enthralled and could not stop watching. Such skill and team work from our amazing NHS!’

Katie Rogers said: ‘Honestly so overwhelmed at how incredible #OperationLive was. So much admiration for the NHS and the hard work and skill that goes into such important procedures!’

And Laura Watson, who works for the Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust, added: ‘Hats off to the surgeons who work so hard and do amazing work. Very proud to be a part of @NHSEngland’.

Some viewers were surprised to see the heart looking yellow when Kamal’s chest was opened up on screen, but the show’s host, Nicky Campbell, explained the organ was surrounded by a normal amount of fat.

Others were baffled that surgeons – who earn an average of £81,201 a year, according to job site Indeed – aren’t paid as much as footballers.

Alan Taylor tweeted: ‘Lost for words… How does a footballer earn more than these surgeons?’

Mark Chadderton said he was ‘enthralled’ and ‘could not stop watching’ the two-hour programme which broadcast the entire procedure in real time

Katie Rogers said she was ‘overwhelmed’ by the programme, which showed London surgeon Kulvinder Lall perform an aortic valve replacement, a type of open heart surgery

Laura Watson, who works for the NHS herself, tweeted that she was proud to be a part of it

Alan Taylor was among viewers who were baffled that professional footballers get paid more than heart surgeons – according to job site Indeed, surgeons earn £81,201 on average

Many viewers agreed with Roddy Carlyle, who said ‘we are very lucky to have such a fantastic service’ – social media was filled with people praising the health service and its employees

Louise Thorpe said she ‘can’t wait’ for tonight’s episode, in which a surgeon at the London Royal Hospital will perform a knee replacement operation live on Channel 5 at 10pm

More praise heaped on Mr Lall and his team included a tweet today from Roddy Carlyle who said: ‘Still astounded from watching live open heart surgery last night.

‘Unreal what [the NHS] does. We are very luck to have such a fantastic service.’

Louise Thorpe added: ‘Unbelieveable !!! Absolutely amazing to watch live. Can’t wait to watch tomorrow nights programme. I am in awe of all the nhs staff’. 


Open-heart surgery is primarily given to adults to unlock arteries, allowing blood to flow to the heart more efficiently.

However, in rare cases, it can be used on children, and babies, to correct congenital defects that pose a risk to their health.

It involves cutting the chest open, with incisions used in modern procedures being much smaller than those made in traditional surgeries. 

According to the National Institutes of Health, the process can take between three and six hours and involves putting the patient to sleep.

Risks of the surgery include death, infections and even heart attacks.

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