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The actor’s career spanned more than 60 years but came to a halt last year after the legend died aged 87 from complications after major surgery. He is best known for his roles as Jack Gallo on Just Shoot Me! And Albert “Pops” Solomon on The Goldbergs.
The announcement of his death was brief, citing “complications from bypass surgery”.
A heart bypass surgery is when blood is diverted around a blockage in the heart’s major arteries to improve blood flow and increase oxygen supplied there.
“The family is devastated to announce that this morning George Segal passed away due to complications from bypass surgery,” said George’s wife Sonia Segal in a statement provided by Sony Television, published by CNN.
The death was a shock to the public and the television world alike. Adam F. Goldberg, the creator of The Goldbergs, gave his tribute on Twitter.
“Today we lost a legend,” he wrote.
“It was a true honour being a small part of George Segal’s amazing legacy.
“By pure fate, I ended up casting the perfect person to play Pops. Just like my grandfather, George was a kid at heart with a magical spark.”
Heart bypasses often last around three to six hours – and generally have a high success rate.
In America, for example, one report found only two to three percent of people who undergo the procedure die from it.
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The risk is also low in the UK – less than one percent.
Despite the low risk of death from bypass surgery, there is still a risk and it increases if the surgery is more complex.
The bypass procedure, which is open-heart surgery, is already a hefty surgery.
During surgery, one blood vessel, known as the graft vessel, is taken from the chest or elsewhere to later be attached to the heart’s artery above and below the blockage to “bypass” it per se.
In the process, the patient’s chest is then opened up, and their blood is rerouted to a machine, taking the role of the heart and lungs – sending blood around the body.
The heart is also stopped during the surgery while the graft is inserted. It is restarted using electric shocks.
Another type of bypass surgery called off-pump surgery occurs when the heart is beating.
This has been shown in recent studies to be more dangerous than surgery that involves stopping the heart.
According to the NHS, some people also experience heart attacks during the surgery or shortly afterwards.
In some cases, people may have a stroke.
This is related to the onset of arrhythmia, another term for atrial fibrillation, or haemodynamic instability – an unstable blood pressure that occurs due to improper circulation.
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