History of Heart Surgery Profession


Historyof Heart Surgery Profession

Historyof Heart Surgery Profession

Aheart surgeon professional performs heart surgery or thecardiovascular surgery. This is a medical treatment that usesoperative manuals and instruments, techniques on a patient to treatheart injury or disorders. It is done to correct heart defects suchas congenital heart diseases. Heart surgery is performed by cardiacsurgeons. Heart surgery is done to treat heart complications such asischemic heart diseases or to remove a damaged heart or a diseasedheart and replace it with a healthy heart a situation that isreferred to as heart transplants. According to Ellis(2001), othertreatments include treating endocardities, atherosclerosis, rheumaticheart diseases and Heart valve diseases. Heart surgery is also doneto repair heart valves, abnormal and damage heart structures andimplanting medical devices. Heart surgery reduces heart diseases andimproves the quality of life.

Theearliest heart surgeon professional was Dr. Ludwig Rehn, whoperformed the first successful heart surgery with no complications onSeptember 7, 1896. This surgery was done to treat the right ventriclethat was stabbed. However, the first attempted heart surgery was doneby Norwegian surgeon Axel Cappelen at Oslo in 4th September 1895(Shumacker, 1992). Heoperated a 24 year old young man who had a bleeding coronary afterbeing stabbed on the left axillae. The operation was successful, butthe young man passed away three days after the operation(Shumacker, 1992). Beforethis surgery in 1895 Henry Dalton, Francisco Romero, Daniel HaleWilliams and Dominique Jean Larrey had done pericardium operation butended with a mediastinities condition.

Inthe early 1990’s, the surgery for heart valves was not known untilthe attempt by new surgeons. In 1925, operations on the heart valveswere done to a young woman who had a valvular heart problem. Theoperation was successfully done by Henry Souttar, a surgeon whodeveloped the early cardiovascular expertise (Lawrence &amp Edmunds,2003). The woman survived for several years, despite thenullification of the operation by Souttar’s. Later, Horace Smithyof Charlotte removed part of mitral valve which was as a result of DrDwight of the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital.

Duringthe mid twentieth century after World War 2, four surgeons undertookthe same operation of mitral stenosis which resulted from rheumaticfever(Shumacker, 1992). Laterthree surgeons, Charles Bailey at the Hahnemann Hospital inPhiladelphia, Dwight Harken of Boston and Rusell Brock of the Guy’sHospital decided to revisit the souttar’s method of operation(Shumacker,1992).They later did some operation on their own unique approach, aftertrying souttar’s method. Their approach was successful and waswidely adopted by many surgeons after professional adoptions weremade to the method.

Atthe University of Toronto, Dr. Wilfred G. Bigelow discovered a betterand improved way of heart surgery. This method was open heart surgerywhere the patient’s heart was opened and surgery performed on theheart’s internal structures. (Lawrence &amp Edmunds, 2003). Duringthis surgery intracardiac pathologies were done with less blood andless motions since the heart is stopped and drained of blood. Thefirst successful intracardiac correction of a congenital heart defectusing hypothermia was performed by Dr. Walton Lillehei and Dr. JohnLewis (Ellis, 2001). The operation was done at the University ofMinnesota on September 2, 1952 as the first successful intrecardiaccorrection. In 1953 Soviet surgeon Aleksandr AleksandrovichVishnevskiy did the first cardiac surgery under local anesthesia.During this surgery, the local anesthesia, the patient heart isexposed and his to her blood made to bypass it.

Asthe developments in the heart surgery were made gradually, the use ofMinimally invasive surgery was adopted. An example of the approach isthe off-pump coronary artery bypass surgery was used in 1990s by mostsurgeons. This made it a success since the operation is made underwayas the heart is beating. The development was a major step in theprofession since the heart is stabilized to provide a still work areathat can connect the conduit vessel to bypass the blockage (Lawrence&amp Edmunds, 2003). This is because the conduit vessels areharvested endoscopically especially in the U.S (Ellis, 2001).

Laterin the twentieth century, the heart surgery was enhanced by the useof digitized machines. The development led to the performance ofrobot-assisted heart surgeryin the recent history, popular way ofperforming heart surgery. Surgeons started using a machine thatperformed the operation but under their control (Lawrence &ampEdmunds, 2003). The benefit of this historical development is thatits only a small incision that is made on the patient. The incisiondoes not need to be big as that of the sugeon to put his or her handbut the should be three small holes for the robots hands to fit inand get through.

Thelatest developments in the profession is the use of Pediatriccardiovascular surgery. The pediatric cardiovascular surgery ismostly done to the infants. In March 1956 Russell M. Nelson performedthe first successful pediatric cardiac surgery at the Salt LakeGeneral Hospital (Shumacker, 1992). It was a repair of tetralogy ofFallot in girl of four years old.


Ellis,H. (2001). AHistory of Surgery.Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

Lawrence,H., &amp Edmunds, L. (2003). Cardiacsurgery in the adult.New York: McGraw-Hill, Medical Pub. Division

Shumacker,H. B. (1992). TheEvolution of Cardiac Surgery.Indiana: Indiana University Press