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Pioneers of Cardiac Surgery

William S. Stoney MD

Publication Year: 2008

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.

Published by: Vanderbilt University Press

Title Page

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pp. ix-xi

This began as a project to interview some of the first-generation cardiac surgeons and to record the interviews on videotape for the Special Collections of the Eskind...

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pp. xi-xvi

Cardiac surgery is a relatively young specialty having evolved for the most part in the second half of the twentieth century. However, the history of that evolution...

Significant Events in Cardiac Surgery

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pp. xvii-xviii

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A Short History of Cardiac Surgery

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pp. 1-60

Since the time of Hippocrates, there has been a difference between those who practice medicine and those who practice surgery. Internists practice the “art” of medicine, while surgeons lean more to the “craft.” These two divisions have taken different paths...

The Early Years

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William P. Longmire, MD

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pp. 63-73

I was born in a little town near Tulsa called Sapulpa, Oklahoma, in 1913. Sapulpa is said to be named for an American Indian who opened a trading post after coming...

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Viking O. Bjork, MD

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pp. 74-82

I was born in Dalecarlia, Sweden, in 1918, where my father ran a sawmill. After my first three years my father realized that I had not made much progress...

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C. Walton Lillehei, MD, PhD

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pp. 83-99

My parents were both born and raised in Minnesota. My father graduated from dental school just about the time the United States entered World War I. He went from dental school straight into the army...

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Richard A. DeWall, MD

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pp. 100-111

I grew up on the western prairies of Minnesota, in a little country town 150 miles west of Minneapolis. I had a brother who was thirteen years older than me and two sisters, nine and ten years older...

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William H. Muller, MD

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pp. 112-124

I was born in 1919 in Dillon, South Carolina, and I grew up there. My father was an attorney and had a fairly successful law firm with his brother-in-law, who was...

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Harris B. Shumacker Jr., MD

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pp. 125-137

I was born in 1908 in Laurel, Mississippi. I was not supposed to be born there, because all of the Shumackers lived in the northern part of Mississippi in Holly Springs...

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Geoffrey Wooler, FRCS

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pp. 138-147

My family has lived in Leeds for over 250 years. We have a marriage certificate between Hannah Wainwright and John Wooler dated December 22, 1778...

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Michael E. DeBakey, MD

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pp. 148-158

I was born in a small town in Louisiana called Lake Charles in 1908. My father was a pharmacist and ran two drug stores, where I worked as a boy, particularly in the summertime...

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C. Rollins Hanlon, MD

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pp. 159-172

I grew up in Baltimore when it was a rather sleepy town of 750,000 people. It was the seventh largest city in the country, but it rapidly lost that distinction...

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Frank C. Spencer, MD

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pp. 173-184

I was born seven miles north of Haskell, Texas, which had a population of thirty-five hundred. This was a farming and ranching region, and that has always been...

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Henry T. Bahnson, MD

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pp. 185-193

I grew up in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, in a Moravian church community. When I was a boy, the opinion of other people in your community...

Congenital Heart Surgery

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Judson G. Randolph, MD

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pp. 197-209

I was born in Georgia in 1927, and I went to school in Nashville, Tennessee. I graduated from Vanderbilt University and then went to medical school at Vanderbilt...

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Anthony R. C. Dobell, MD

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pp. 210-220

hospital where I have worked all my life. My father died suddenly when I was twelve. My mother let me bring myself up; she was an artist and a very stimulating...

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Paul A. Ebert, MD

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pp. 221-231

I was born in 1932 in Columbus, Ohio, an only child, and my mother and father divorced when I was an infant. My mother worked, so I really grew...

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Harvey W. Bender, MD

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pp. 232-243

I was born in Corpus Christi, Texas, in 1933 during the Depression. My dad was there trying to get work, and he finally got a job in the oil fields working six-hour shifts...

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Denton A. Cooley, MD

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pp. 244-255

I am a native Texan, born in Houston in 1920. My grandparents moved to Houston in 1885 when my father was three years old. My father graduated from...

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J. Alex Haller Jr., MD

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pp. 256-268

I was born in Pulaski, Virginia, in 1927 and have a younger brother who became a dentist. I come from a family of dentists. My father, aunt, uncle, and both grandfathers...

Valvular Heart Surgery

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Albert Starr, MD

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pp. 271-284

I was born in 1926 and grew up in New York City. I do remember some of the early days of the Depression in New York and the fact that my family had some economic...

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Donald N. Ross, FRCS

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pp. 285-296

I was born in Kimberly, South Africa, and I think that I still have a South African accent. Some people mistake it for Australian, but it is South African and I am proud of that. My parents came from Scotland...

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George J. Magovern, MD

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pp. 297-307

I grew up in Brooklyn. I have heard that approximately sixty-four languages are spoken now in Brooklyn, and I have heard all of them, I think. Brooklyn has changed...

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Robert B. Wallace, MD

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pp. 308-315

I was born in Washington, D.C., and attended public school until high school when I was fortunate to have the opportunity to attend St. Peter’s School...

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Francis Robicsek, MD, PhD

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pp. 316-321

When I talk about my life, I have to be a little bit schizophrenic. This is because my life has been divided into four segments: one, before the war in Hungary...

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Alain F. Carpentier, MD, PhD

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pp. 322-331

I was born in 1933 in Toulouse, France, but I grew up in different cities because my father was an engineer who constructed roads and bridges. We moved every five years...

Vincent L. Gott, MD

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pp. 332-340

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Alden H. Harken, MD

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pp. 341-353

I was born in 1941, and I grew up in Boston. Shortly after I was born, my dad went away to England and served in the army for four years. I don’t have much...

Coronary Artery Surgery

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René G. Favaloro, MD

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pp. 357-368

I was born on July 14, 1923. My father was a carpenter and cabinetmaker. My mother was a dressmaker. If I had to judge the status of my family, it would be low middle class. My father was a real expert in making...

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George E. Green, MD

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pp. 369-379

I grew up in Brooklyn, New York, in a great neighborhood that was only about a block away from Ebbets Field where the Dodgers played. I had a great passion...

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W. Dudley Johnson, MD

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pp. 380-390

I was born in 1930 in Madison, Wisconsin. My father had grown up in the middle of Wisconsin on a little farm that had a cheese factory, which was one of many...

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John L. Ochsner, MD

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pp. 391-404

I was born in Madison, Wisconsin, in 1927. Shortly after my birth, my father, who was a prominent surgeon, was invited to join the faculty at Tulane Medical School...

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Floyd D. Loop, MD

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pp. 405-411

I was born in Lafayette, Indiana, in 1936. My father was an old-fashioned country doctor, and I used to go around with him to farms and carry his black bag. I had sort of a Huckleberry Finn childhood...

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Thomas J. Fogarty, MD

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pp. 412-423

I grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio, a German town. I was an Irish kid in a neighborhood dominated by St. Boniface, a German saint, so I had a rather pugilistic...

Transplant—Artificial Heart

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Norman E. Shumway,MD, PhD

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pp. 427-439

I was born in Kalamazoo, Michigan, in 1923 and was an only child. In those days the economy was so bad generally that most families had as few children...

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Christiaan Barnard, MD, PhD

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pp. 440-445

I am often asked, “What are the ingredients for success?” My reply is that I think there are four. They are opportunity, imagination, ability, and the last one is luck...

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James D. Hardy, MD

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pp. 446-459

I was born in 1918 in Birmingham, Alabama, but I grew up in a little town called Newala, Alabama. My father actually named the town when he went...

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Sir Terence English, FRCS

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pp. 460-468

My background lies in South Africa, where I was born and brought up. My father was a mining engineer and died when I was only eighteen months old...

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William C. DeVries, MD

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pp. 469-485

I was born in New York in 1943, but I lived most of my younger life in Utah. My mother was a nurse working in Salt Lake City, and my father was a rotating intern...

Arrhythmia Surgery

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William C. Sealy, MD

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pp. 489-504

I grew up in Reynolds, Georgia, which is in Taylor County about forty miles west of Macon. My father was a small-town country banker. My mother was from a large...

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James R. Jude, MD

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pp. 505-520

I was born in 1928 in Maple Lake, Minnesota, the fifth of six children. I was a child during the Great Depression, of course, and by the mid-1930s I pretty well knew what was going on. My father...


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pp. 521-552

Illustration Credits

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p. 553-553

E-ISBN-13: 9780826592439
Print-ISBN-13: 9780826515940

Page Count: 648
Publication Year: 2008