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Ann Thorac Surg. 1997 Sep;64(3):870-1.

Francisco Romero, the first heart surgeon.

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  • 1Cardiac Surgery Service, Hospital de la Santa Creu y Sant Pau, Barcelona, Spain.


Francisco Romero, a Catalonian physician, became the first heart surgeon when he performed an open pericardiostomy to treat a pericardial effusion in 1801. He presented his work at the Society of the School of Medicine in Paris in 1815, but the procedure was considered too aggressive and his work was silenced for many years. Proper credit should be given to Romero as the first man who directly approached the heart by incising the pericardium.

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