A commemorative postage stamp on the Centenary of the Cardiovascular Surgery (1896-1996) :
Issued by India
Issued on Feb 25, 1996
Type : First Day Cover
Colour : Multi Colour
Denomination : 500 Paise
- The heart has always been the most revered organ in the human body and usually viewed as the seat of life. It has never failed to captivate the fascination of poets, philosophers, artists, litterateurs, clerics, sorcerers as well as scientists. However it had been considered surgically untouchable. Stephen Paget, a famous British surgeon, remarked in his textbook on surgery of the chest as late as in 1896, “Surgery of the heart has probably reached the limit set by nature to all surgery; no new method and no new discovery can overcome the natural difficulties that attend a wound of the heart“. The same year however, Ludwig Rehn of Frankfurt performed the first successful repair of a stab wound of the heart. The era of cardiac surgery had begun.
- The hundred years that followed witnessed the amazing saga of fathomless capabilities of the human spirit. It was a long road from modest repair of cardiac wounds to transplantation, and the milestones were legion. Even to name only a few is a formidable list of firsts: surgery on the aortic valve (1912) by Theodore Tuffier, Paris; surgery on the mitral valve (1923) by Elliot Cutter, Boston; systemic-pulmonary shunt for blue babies (1945) by Alfred Blalock, Baltimore; closure of atrial septal defect (1952) by John Lewis, Minnesota; valve substitute implantation (1952) by Charles Hufnagel, Georgetown; open heart operation (1953) by John Gibbon, Boston; totally implantable pacemaker (1959) by Ake Senning, Sweden; successful coronary artery bypass (1964) by Michael DeBakey, Houston; cardiac transplantation (1967) Christiaan Barnard, Cape Town.