Originally published in Volume 36 Issue 6 of Artificial Organs, 04 June 2012
I first learned of Dr. René Favaloro (Fig. 1) in early 1984 when I had been diagnosed with coronary artery disease. I studied the literature and sought to learn which surgical procedure provided the best overall outcome. Dr. Favaloro was credited with developing the use of the saphenous veins to anastomose from the aorta to just beyond the coronary occlusions. Subjecting the vein to the pressures and pulsatility of the arterial environment resulted in a need to revisit the grafts at 8 to 10 years. I understand that he refined the coronary artery bypass procedure by utilizing one of the internal mammary arteries that was accustomed to the arterial blood pressure and the high pulsatility. This was a major breakthrough in extending the length of successful delivery to an otherwise ischemic myocardium. Twenty-seven years later, my internal mammary artery is open, with high flow to both the diagonal and left anterior descending coronary arteries. Thank you, Dr. Favaloro.