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Sensing Savvy

Pioneers in Cardiothoracic Surgery: Dr. René Favaloro

Posted by Susan Eymann, MS on Feb 16, 2017 12:00:00 PM

Dr. René Gerónimo Favaloro was an Argentine cardiac surgeon who pioneered coronary artery bypass surgery while at the Cleveland Clinic. He was born and raised in La Plata, capital of the province of Buenos Aires, Argentina to carpenter Juan B. Favaloro and Ida Y. Raffaelli, a dressmaker, both immigrants from Sicily, Italy.

Soon after completing his undergraduate degree in 1941, Favaloro was inducted into the Argentine army where he served for five years. In 1946, he left the service and continued his medical studies at La Universidad Nacional de La Plata, graduating in 1949. He would spend the next 12 years in a small farming community, La Pampa, as a rural physician. There, he educated patients about preventive medicine, established the first “mobile” blood bank in this area, and built his own operating room, where he trained general and surgical nurses. He later wrote about this period of his life in his book Memoirs of a Country Doctor.

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Topics: Cardiothoracic, cardiothoracic surgery

Pioneers in Cardiothoracic Surgery: Dr. Christiaan Barnard

Posted by Susan Eymann, MS on Feb 13, 2017 7:00:00 AM

On Dec. 3, 1967, a medical milestone was made in Cape Town, South Africa. A 54-year-old grocer, Louis Washkansky, received a heart transplanted from a young woman who died in a fatal accident while crossing the street. A medical team of 30 under the direction of Dr. Christiaan Barnard, assisted by his right-hand man and brother Marius, performed the nine-hour operation. Washkansky survived the operation and lived for 18 days before succumbing to pneumonia.

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Topics: Cardiothoracic, cardiothoracic surgery

Pioneers in Cardiothoracic Surgery: Dr. Norman Shumway

Posted by Susan Eymann, MS on Feb 8, 2017 7:00:00 AM

Norman Edward Shumway M.D., Ph.D., Stanford University Frances and Charles Field Professor of Cardiovascular Surgery, Emeritus, was born February 9, 1923, in Kalamazoo, Michigan. His father ran a creamery. Shumway was quiet, witty, irreverent and intuitive about people and about what would and would not work. Despite his fame as the father of heart transplantation, he shunned publicity.

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Topics: Cardiothoracic, cardiothoracic surgery

Pioneers in Cardiothoracic Surgery: Dr. Denton Cooley

Posted by Susan Eymann, MS on Feb 2, 2017 7:00:00 AM

"What he did, more than anyone else, was make heart surgery safe." —O.H. Frazier, M.D. (Denton Cooley protégé)

Denton Cooley, one of the greatest heart surgeons of the 20th century, was a third-generation Houstonian. He was born in 1920 in comfortable economic circumstances. His father was a successful dentist; his maternal grandfather, a physician. As a young scholar and athlete, Cooley showed great promise. As a youth, he was inspired by his parents and a family friend who also was his mother’s obstetrician, Dr. E.W. Bertner, who later founded the Texas Medical Center.

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Topics: Cardiothoracic, cardiothoracic surgery

Pioneers in Cardiothoracic Surgery: Dr. John Kirklin

Posted by Susan Eymann, MS on Jan 25, 2017 7:00:00 AM

When professor Stephen Westaby, a heart surgeon at John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, England, decided to go to the United States to refine his surgical skills, he was advised, “Go to Kirklin. There you will learn discipline.”

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Topics: Cardiothoracic, cardiothoracic surgery

Pioneers in Cardiothoracic Surgery: Dr. Clarence Walton “Walt” Lillehei

Posted by Susan Eymann, MS on Jan 23, 2017 6:30:00 AM

In the second half of the 20th century, a group of surgeons advanced the work of early pioneers in cardiothoracic surgery who had first introduced surgical procedures to relieve heart disease. Two of these men were from institutions in America’s heartland: Dr. John Kirklin worked at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, while at nearby University of Minnesota in Minneapolis; and Dr. Clarence Walton “Walt” Lillehei pioneered open heart surgery.

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Topics: Cardiothoracic, cardiothoracic surgery

Pioneers in Cardiothoracic Surgery: Dr. Michael Ellis DeBakey

Posted by Susan Eymann, MS on Jan 18, 2017 7:00:00 AM

Perhaps no one person embodies the advancements in the surgical treatment of cardiovascular diseases during the 20th century more than Dr. Michael Ellis DeBakey. As a world-renowned scientist, innovator, medical educator, administrator, author, medical statesman and humanitarian, his name has become synonymous with firsts in surgery, biomedical innovations and the establishment of several educational and medical institutions.

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Topics: Cardiothoracic, cardiothoracic surgery

The Magic of the Left Internal Mammary Artery

Posted by Thomas Gole, DO, FAAFP on Jan 16, 2017 6:30:00 AM

The Left Internal Mammary Artery (LIMA), also known as the Left Internal Thoracic Artery (LITA), has been the gold standard conduit of choice for coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) for several decades.

More than 30 years ago, Boylan et al published a study in the Journal of Thoracic Cardiovascular Surgery in which the long-term results of 200 patients who underwent CABG, 100 of whom received a LIMA — left anterior descending coronary artery (LAD) bypass graft and the second 100 who received a saphenous vein (SVG) to LAD bypass graft, were analyzed.

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Topics: Cardiothoracic, CABG Surgery, cardiothoracic surgery

Which Surgical Risk Score is Best?

Posted by Thomas Gole, DO, FAAFP on Jan 11, 2017 7:00:00 AM

Doctors from Inova Heart & Vascular Institute, Falls Church, Virginia, recently published their findings after comparing the precision of three risk scores used to measure the quality of cardiac surgical care. They compared the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) surgical risk score, primarily used in the United States, with the European System for Cardiac Operative Risk Evaluation (EuroSCORE II, EuroSCORE I).
The original EuroSCORE I was developed between 1995 and 1999 from data of 19,000 cardiac surgery patients, most of whom had undergone coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) surgery. About a third underwent valve surgery. The EuroScore I was updated in 2012 to be more user-friendly and applicable to a greater number of procedures.

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Topics: Cardiothoracic, CABG Surgery, cardiothoracic surgery