Dr. Rene  Favaloro

Dr. Rene Favaloro M.D.

1998 in Medicine

Dr. Rene G. Favaloro was born on 14th July 1923 in La Plata, capital of the province of Buenos Aires, Argentina. He studied in the Medical Science Faculty of La Plata University and, in 1949, graduated at the top of his class with the title of Doctor in Medicine. He is now the director of Institute of Cardiology and Cardiovascular Surgery, Favaloro Foundation in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
After graduation from the Medical School, Dr. Favaloro became a country doctor in a small town called Jacinto Arauz, southeast of the province of La Pampa. He tried to improve the quality of health care in the zone. He later futhered his studies in Cleveland Clinic, Ohio, USA where he was invited by Dr. Donald Effler to observe the work of the Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery. Later he learnt from Mason Sones, the father of coronary cineangiography, how to read and interpret coronary and ventricular images.
Dr. Favaloro was the first one who successfully performed bypass surgery of the coronary artery of the heart. He replaced the coronary artery obstruction of a 51-year old woman in May 1967 with a piece of saphenous vein anastomosed termino-terminally at the Cleveland Clinic. This was the “start” of the “bypass surgery” of coronary artery of the heart which has gradually developed worldwide to the present technology. Favaloro’s coronary bypass procedure has undoubtedly changed the natural history of coronary disease.
Dr. Favaloro decided to return to Argentina in 1971 with his dream of developing a center of excellence similar to the Cleveland Clinic. He quickly established Argentina’s most important center of cardiovascular surgery, and developed an intense teaching schedule which encompassed not only the training of surgeons and cardiologists, but also disseminated his ideas and experiences.
By 1980, Dr. Favaloro had realized two of his three desires – those of the establishment of a medical center and a teaching unit, both located in the Guemes private hospital. The desire to develop a research department was made possible by the Society of Distributors of Newspapers and Magazines, who donated an eight-story building, immediately designated as the research building, to the Favaloro Foundation. The culmination of Favaloro’s plan is to take place shortly with the opening of the Institute for Cardiology, Cardiothoracic Surgery, and Organ Transplantation. This Institute is a nonprofit organization owned by the community at large to which it is dedicated without any form of discrimination, and in which clinical activities will be totally integrated with teaching and research.
At the present time, Dr. Favaloro is an active member of 23 learned societies, a corresponding member of 3, an honorary member of 28, and he has received 23 significant international awards. He contributed significantly to cardiac surgery and especially to his pioneering role in the development of coronary artery bypass surgery. This widely accepted vascular reconstructive procedure, which he introduced into clinical practice, has prolonged the lives of countless numbers patients with coronary arteriosclerosis.