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Tex Heart Inst J. 2004;31(1):47-60.

Memento for René Favaloro.

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  • The University of Malta Medical School, St. Luke's Hospital, G'Mangia MSD06, Malta. captur@maltanet.net


Rene G. Favaloro moved to the Cleveland Clinic in 1962 and with him came a wind of change that was to reshape cardiac surgery forever. With his cherished colleagues, Effler, Sones, Proudfit, Groves, Sheldon, and countless others, he contributed to the double internal mammary artery-myocardial implantation by the Vineberg method, and, subsequently, in May 1967, he reconstructed the right coronary artery by saphenous vein graft interposition. These milestones set the stage for aortocoronary saphenous vein bypass grafting in October 1967. Several other breakthroughs rapidly followed: the application of the bypass technique to the left coronary artery, the combination of coronary artery bypass grafting with left ventricular reconstruction and valve repair or replacement, and finally, by December 1967, a double bypass to the right coronary artery and the anterior descending branch of the left coronary artery. Emergency coronary artery bypass grafting in patients with acute myocardial infarction soon became Favaloro's next focus. In 1970, he was influenced by the work of George Green in New York City and began using the direct mammary-coronary anastomosis with a few modifications, which popularized it. In June 1971, Favaloro decided to leave the Cleveland Clinic and return to Argentina, where he created a medical center, a teaching unit, a research department, and, finally, an Institute of Cardiology and Cardiovascular Surgery. To all these medical achievements, add integrity, courage, honesty, and humility, and the result is a man who will never be forgotten.

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