But this afternoon, there's a buzz markedly different from the usual op room tedium: a dozen gowned surgeons, assistants and nurses are poring over instruments and papers, talking animatedly. More importantly, the crowded surgery is even looking a bit, wait, actually a lot different: in the maze of heart-and-lung and echocardiogram machines, sterile instrument racks and trays, anaesthetists' workstations and half-a-dozen vital signs-tracking monitors, there's a greyish computer console that could well be out of retro Star Trek.
And looming over Kumar, who's now knocked out by anaesthesia, is a big surgical arm cart with three instrument arms jutting out. Assistants are making three small incisions on his chest, and slowly pushing in an endoscope—a device comprising a tiny camera with a bright light fitted at the end of a long tube to visually examine the interior of a body—through an incision. Bright, vivid images of the heart begin beaming instantly on a Sony colour monitor perched atop the cart. Meanwhile, the surgeons are hovering around the computer, which now also looks like a video game machine complete with two joysticks, sorry, instrument and camera controllers, and pedals. "Let's go! Lights out, table lights on," shouts out a surgeon and retires to the console to peer into the screen.