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Monday, 22 June 2015

Heart surgery

The first time heart surgery was performed was on September 4, 1895 at Rikshospitalet in Kristiania, now Oslo. Norwegian surgeon Axel Cappelen ligated a bleeding coronary artery in a 24-year-old man who had been stabbed in the left axillae. The patient awoke and seemed fine for 24 hours, but became ill with increasing temperature and he ultimately died from what the post mortem proved to be mediastinitis on the third postoperative day.

The first successful surgery of the heart, performed without any complications, was by Dr. Ludwig Rehn of Frankfurt, Germany on September 7, 1896. He repaired a stab wound to the right ventricle suffered by 22-year-old gardener Wilhelm Justus.

Until the 1960s if you had a terminally dodgy heart you would be sent to hospital and hooked up to a large, static piece of kit. US engineer Wilson Greatbatch was the first build a reliable fully implantable pacemaker in his garden shed. He tested a prototype on a dog in 1958 and, in 1960, Henry Hannafield, 77, became the first human recipient. Hannafield lived for a further 18 months.

before the heart/lung machine was invented, a doctor oxygenated his patient's blood by routing it through another person. Parents often served this purpose while their children had heart surgery.

Christiaan Barnard performed the first successful human heart transplant at Groote Schuur Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa on December 3, 1967. A 54-year-old, Louis Washkansky, received a heart from a 24-year-old woman, who had died in a motor accident. He died of pneumonia 18 days later as drugs given to prevent tissue rejection had heightened the risk of infection.

Paul Winchell, who was the voice of Tigger in the Disney movies, was the first person to design and patent an artificial heart.

Frederick West became the first British patient to receive a heart transplant on May 3, 1968 at the National Heart Hospital in Marylebone, London. He died 46 days later from an infection.


61-year-old retired dentist Barney Clark was the first recipient of a permanent artificial heart on December 2, 1982 at the University of Utah Medical Center. He survived for three and a half months with his new heart before succumbing to foreign-body rejection problems.

In 1985 William J. Schroeder became the first artificial heart recipient to be discharged from the hospital.




62-year-old former movie stuntman Arthur Cornhill was given the world’s first battery operated heart in a pioneering operation at Papworth Hospital in Cambridgeshire, England on August 26, 1994. The heart was made from titanium and plastic and the operation was performed by an 11-man team led by top heart surgeons Sir Terence English and John Wallwork.

Around the world, about 3,500 heart transplants are performed each year. More than half of these are in the United States.

Cardiac surgical procedure at Gemelli Hospital in Rome. By Pfree2014 - Wikipedia Commons

Men are 1.6 times more likely to undergo by-pass surgery than women.

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