Argentinian Surgeon Rene Favaloro was celebrated in today’s Google doodle for pioneering heart Bypass surgery 1960s.
Rene Favaloro extended the lives of millions who develop coronary artery blockages. Still he never really liked the idea of people calling him the “father” of such procedure. He was featured in today’s Google doodle as a celebration of his accomplishments and contribution to society. The Google doodle remembering him was seen on what would have been his 96th birthday.
Favaloro developed a technique that restored blood flow to the heart muscle when the vessel supplying it is blocked, and he thus became the pioneer of coronary artery bypass surgery. There are times when arteries are blocked by the buildup of fatty plaques in the vessel walls. This more often than not leads to chest pain, called angina or a heart attack. It happens when a plaque ruptures and a blood clot blocks the vessel completely. This can occur in any part of your body, and it is especially dangerous in the coronary artery. Coronary artery supplies the heart muscle, and a blockage can starve the tissue of blood and oxygen. In such a case, the muscle dies and cannot recover.
A true pioneer
The 50s saw several surgeons trying to restore the blocked blood flow to the heart by connecting the internal mammary artery, to the heart muscle. Favaloro took a different route to restart blood flow to the heart. He took a piece of saphenous vein from the leg and used it to bypass the blockage in the coronary artery. His first operation using his method was in 1957 on a 51-year-old woman. The service was successful, and the chest X rays showed that blood flow was restored to the heart. He further improved his technique by adding valve replacements. He and his team together operated on 1806 patients with a mortality rate of 4.2 %.
Further contributions to society
Favaloro further contributed to the organization when he returned to Argentina in 1970 and created the Favaloro foundation a scientific institution dedicated to medical care training and research. He also trained hundreds of surgeons by himself.