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Sunday, July 13, 2008

Dr. Michael DeBakey Dies

Truly the
"Father" of cardiac surgery, Dr. Michael DeBakey has died at the age of 99. PTCA:

    Considered the father of cardiac surgery, and by many the world's greatest surgeon, Michael E. DeBakey passed away on Friday night in Houston, just two months shy of his 100th birthday. Born in 1908 in Lake Charles, Louisiana to Lebanese-Christian immigrants, DeBakey invented numerous surgical procedures and techniques, as well as a host of devices that revolutionized vascular and cardiac surg

    DeBakey served his country in World War II, and is credited with creating Auxiliary Surgical Hospitals (ASH) -- as he said in a 1995 interview, "Not M.A.S.H. -- the 'M' was added later, during the Korean War."

    The results of having surgical units close to the battlefield revolutionized the treatment of vascular repair and led to a significant reduction in amputations. As DeBakey said, prior to then, "Vascular repair was not very successful. It wasn't successful because it wasn't tried very much."


    His invention of the roller-pump in the thirties ultimately made heart bypass surgery possible. Along with other vascular surgeons, he continued to look for a way to repair the blood vessels of the human body, something that could not be done at that time.

    Ultimately DeBakey was successful in devising an artificial graft made of Dacron. First performed in a human in 1954, this technique for repair of an aortic aneurysm literally saved his own life in 2006, making him the oldest patient to undergo the procedure.

    In this video clip, DeBakey tells the story of how he created that first graft, and how his mother's teachings were critical in that discovery.

The clip can be seen at the above PTCA link.

More; Read more at WSJ.com, Michael E. DeBakey: Pioneering Surgeon, Educator & Inventor

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