Pioneers of Cardiac Surgery

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Heart operations today are quite common and relatively low-risk, but in the beginning it was just the opposite. Cardiac operations were reserved for desperately ill patients. The author documents this dramatic transition with profiles of 38 surgeons who were active between 1940 and 1985.

The profiles are edited transcripts of interviews videotaped between 1996 and 2004. They tell of the development of new techniques such as the "blue baby operation," the first heart-lung machine, the first artificial heart valve, and the first coronary bypass operation. They also tell the unusual life stories of the surgeons and allude to professional and institutional rivalries. A particularly valuable part of the book is the author's brief history of cardiac surgery, designed to orient the reader for reading the profiles that follow.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Pioneers of Cardiac Surgery is a remarkable and unique account of the history of cardiovascular surgery. . . . Much of the information helps to clarify which contributor deserves a so-called 'first' in the field. I found the book fascinating and absorbing, and have spent enjoyable hours in reading how those pioneers overcame obstacles social, ethical, and forbidding which threatened their personal reputations. Many were objects of criticism by skeptics who mostly stood on the sidelines while exciting new developments appeared. The book should serve as a reference for any surgeon or physician interested in an authentic account of the history of the remarkable achievements of the era.
--Denton A. Cooley, MD

This volume's appeal is unique, in that it consists of material derived from personal interviews with the giants of the specialty and filtered through the discerning eye of an active participant and a giant of the specialty himself. The end result serves to humanize these individuals . . . . I recommend this volume to cardiothoracic surgeons of all ages. The older among us will revel, as I did, in the recalled memories of earlier times, and the younger surgeons will take inspiration from the similarities in the lives of these pioneers and their own lives.
--Thomas B. Ferguson, MD, Emeritus Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Washington University School of Medicine

From its beginnings in Baltimore, and two institutions in Northern Minnesota, this exciting story is recreated in the words of the men who were responsible for its rapid development. The interviews are 'up close and personal' and include information about upbringing, education, mentoring, family life, and the circumstances of their contributions.
--John L. Cameron, MD, Alfred Blalock Distinguished Service Professor, the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions

Surgical history is only rarely autobiographical, but not because surgeons are shy or lack self-esteem. This collection is a window into the evolution of cardiac surgery, surgical careers, and the bumps along the way.
--Sara Shumway, MD, Division of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery, University of Minnesota

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780826515940
  • Publisher: Vanderbilt University Press
  • Publication date: 7/28/2008
  • Pages: 648
  • Product dimensions: 7.80 (w) x 10.60 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Meet the Author

William S. Stoney, MD, is Emeritus Professor of Cardiac and Thoracic Surgery, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.
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Table of Contents

Significant Events in the Development of Cardiac Surgery
A Short History of Cardiac Surgery
Stab Wounds of the Heart
Alexis Carrel and Charles Guthrie
Trendelenburg and Pulmonary Embolectomy
Mitral Stenosis in the 1920s
Patent Ductus Arteriosus
Coarctation of the Aorta
Tetralogy of Fallot and the Blue Baby Operation
World War II
Post-World War II Developments (Dwight Harken and Charles Bailey)
Development of the Heart-Lung Machine
Lillehei and Cross Circulation
DeWall and a Practical Heart-Lung Machine
The Starr-Edwards Valve
Coronary Artery Surgery
Cardiac Transplantation
Total Artificial Heart
Pioneer Cardiac Surgeons
The Early Years
William P. Longmire
Viking O. Björk
C. Walton Lillehei
Richard A. DeWall
William H. Muller
Harris B. Shumacker Jr.
Geoffrey Wooler
Michael E. DeBakey
C. Rollins Hanlon
Frank C. Spencer
Henry T. Bahnson
Congenital Heart Surgery
Judson G. Randolph
Anthony R. C. Dobell
Paul A. Ebert
Harvey W. Bender
Denton A. Cooley
J. Alex Haller Jr.
Valvular Heart Surgery
Albert Starr
Donald N. Ross
George J. Magovern
Robert B. Wallace
Francis Robicsek
Alain F. Carpentier
Vincent L. Gott
Alden H. Harken and Dwight E. Harken
Coronary Artery Surgery
René G. Favaloro
George E. Green
W. Dudley Johnson
John L. Ochsner
Floyd D. Loop
Thomas J. Fogarty
Transplant-Artificial Heart
Norman E. Shumway
Christiaan Barnard
James D. Hardy
Sir Terence English
William C. DeVries
Arrhythmia Surgery
Will C. Sealy
James R. Jude
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