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Home / Lifestyle / René Favaloro trivia: 97 amazing facts about the cardiac surgeon!

René Favaloro trivia: 97 amazing facts about the cardiac surgeon!

René Favaloro is one of the most famous cardiac surgeons. He is from Argentina and Google has honored him with a doodle!

So let’s find out some more trivia and facts about the surgeon!

  1. His full name is René Gerónimo Favaloro
  2. He was born in July 12, 1923
  3. He died in July 29, 2000
  4. He was an Argentine cardiac surgeon
  5. And educator best known for his pioneering work on coronary artery bypass surgery using as an example the saphenous vein
  6. Favaloro was born on July 12, 1923 and raised in La Plata
  7. His grandparents were Sicilian
  8. At an early age, he developed a love for football, favoring Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata, a popular club in the city
  9. In 1936, Favaloro was admitted into the Colegio Nacional de La Plata
  10. After graduating from high school, he was admitted to the School of Medicine at the National University of La Plata
  11. During his third year, he began his medical residency at the Hospital Policlínico San Martín
  12. A medical center that received the most complicated cases from much of Buenos Aires province
  13. This residency brought him into contact with patients for the first time
  14. He attended procedures carried out by professors José María Mainetti and Federico E. B. Christmann
  15. From whom he learned the simplicity and standardization that he would later apply to cardiovascular surgery
  16. One of his many great contributions to cardiovascular operating techniques
  17. Favaloro graduated with a medical degree in 1949
  18. He then applied for a position as a medical auxiliary
  19. But the offer required him to enroll in the Peronist Party
  20. Which he did not accept
  21. He moved instead to a small town named Jacinto Aráuz in La Pampa Province
  22. After being offered a job as the town’s doctor
  23. Then the resident doctor died
  24. He succeeded him and brought his brother Juan José into the clinic
  25. He married María Antonia Delgado in 1951
  26. Favaloro and his brother endeavored to improve the general level of health in what was then a remote region
  27. They trained and educated the general public, teachers, and nurses and improved health-care delivery
  28. They equipped the town with an operating room and X-ray and improved the laboratory
  29. Thereby providing essential surgical and diagnostic tools
  30. Favaloro became interested in developments in cardiovascular intervention
  31. And developed an enthusiasm for thoracic surgery
  32. During a visit to La Plata, he met Professor Mainetti, who pointed him in the direction of the Cleveland Clinic
  33. Although in the beginning he had doubts about leaving his profession as a rural physician
  34. He thought that he could make a greater contribution to the community on returning from the United States
  35. With few resources and rudimentary English, he decided to travel to Cleveland
  36. He first worked as a resident and later as a member of the surgical team
  37. Working with Donald B. Effler, head of cardiovascular surgery, F. Mason Sones, Jr., who was in charge of the Angiography Laboratory, and William L. Proudfit, head of the Department of Cardiology
  38. In the beginning, the major part of his work involved valvular and congenital diseases
  39. Later on, he became interested in other areas
  40. Every day, having hardly finished working in the operating room, Favaloro would spend hours and hours reviewing coronary angiograms and studying coronary arteries and their relation with the cardiac muscle
  41. The laboratory of Sones, father of the coronary angiography, had the largest collection of angiograms in the United States
  42. In early 1967, Favaloro began to consider the possibility of using the saphenous vein in coronary surgery
  43. He put his ideas into practice for the first time in May of that year
  44. The basic principle was to bypass a diseased (obstructed) segment of a coronary artery in order to deliver blood flow distally
  45. The standardization of this technique, called coronary artery bypass surgery, was the fundamental work of his career
  46. And ensured that his prestige would transcend the limits of his country
  47. As the procedure radically changed the treatment of coronary disease
  48. In 1970, he published one of his best-known volumes, Surgical Treatment of Coronary Arteriosclerosis
  49. Favaloro returned to Argentina in 1971 with the dream of developing a center of excellence similar to the Cleveland Clinic
  50. The Clinic combined medical attention, research, and education
  51. Bearing that in mind, he founded the Fundación Favaloro in 1975 along with several collaborators
  52. He took pride in having trained more than 450 residents from all over Argentina and the Americas
  53. Favaloro contributed to raise the standard level of his specialty for the benefit of patients through innumerable courses, seminars, and conferences organized by the Fundación
  54. Among them the distinguished “Cardiology for the Consultant” (Cardiología para el Consultante)
  55. It is held every two years
  56. In 1980 Favaloro established the “Basic Investigation Laboratory” (Laboratorio de Investigación Básica)
  57. Which was long financed with his own money and which, at the time, depended upon the support of the Research and Teaching Department of the Fundación Favaloro
  58. Subsequently, it became the Institute of Research in Basic Sciences of the University Institute of Biomedical Sciences (Instituto de Investigación en Ciencias Básicas del Instituto Universitario de Ciencias Biomédicas)
  59. Which in turn, was transformed into the Universidad Favaloro in August 1998
  60. In 1992 the nonprofit Favaloro Foundation Institute of Cardiology and Cardiovascular Surgery (Instituto de Cardiología y Cirugía Cardiovascular de la Fundación Favaloro) opened in Buenos Aires
  61. With the motto “advanced technology in the service of medical humanism”
  62. This institute offers highly specialized services of cardiology, cardiovascular surgery and heart, lung, cardiopulmonary, liver, kidney, and bone marrow transplants, among other areas
  63. Favaloro focused his career there, surrounded by a selected group of professionals
  64. One of his more famous patients was boxing promoter and Luna Park arena owner Tito Lectoure
  65. On whom Dr. Favaloro operated in 1990
  66. It should be mentioned, however, that despite the immense costs of bypass surgery, Dr Favaloro operated daily on indigent patients
  67. Something that he felt was both a necessity and his obligation
  68. He kept his emphasis on disease prevention and promoting basic rules of hygiene to reduce mortality rate
  69. With that objective, the Fundación Favaloro researches illness detection and prevention programs
  70. Also, many publications were released by the Centro Editor de la Fundación Favaloro (Publishing Center of the Favaloro Foundation)
  71. It ceased to operate in 2000
  72. The Favaloro Foundation is currently one of the largest institutions dedicated to cardiology in the Americas
  73. By the year 2000, Argentina was submerged in an economic and political crisis
  74. And the Favaloro Foundation was US$18 million in debt
  75. On repeated occasions, Favaloro petitioned the Argentine government to aid the Foundation
  76. But never received an official response
  77. Nor would the director of the PAMI public medical insurance agency, Horacio Rodríguez Larreta, agree to pay the agency’s debt to the Foundation
  78. On July 29 of that year, Favaloro died by suicide by shooting himself in the chest
  79. Following his suicide, it was revealed that he had written a letter to Argentine President Fernando de la Rúa
  80. That had never been read
  81. In the letter, he expressed being tired of “being a beggar in his own country”
  82. He asked for de la Rúa’s help to raise money to help the Foundation
  83. Although his suicide is often linked to the Foundation’s financial difficulties, the letter clearly shows Favaloro overwhelmed by the corruption of the health system and feeling that he could not fight against this powerful organization
  84. In the letter, he refers to himself as “Don Quixote” in his lonely battle against the giants
  85. Aggravating this situation was that Favaloro had never recovered from the death of his wife in 1998
  86. Following her death, he had resolved to marry one of his longtime colleagues and coauthors, Diana Truden
  87. She lived with Favaloro during his final days
  88. And was in his Palermo neighborhood house when he committed suicide
  89. Favaloro was an active member of 26 societies
  90. Corresponding of 4, and honorary of 43
  91. He received innumerable international distinctions
  92. The ones that stand out are: John Scott Prize 1979, granted by Philadelphin, the creation of the Chair of Cardiovascular Surgery “Dr René G. Favaloro” (Tel Aviv University, Israel, 1980), the distinction of the Fundación Conchita Rábago de Giménez Díaz (Madrid, Spain, 1982), the Teacher Prize of Argentinian Medicine (1986), the Distinguished Alumnus Award of the Cleveland Clinic Foundation (1987), The Gairdner Foundation International Award, granted by the Gairdner Foundation (Toronto, Canada, 1987), the René Leriche Prize 1989, granted by the International Surgery Society, the Gifted Teacher Award, granted by the American College of Cardiology (1992), the Golden Plate Award of the American Academy of Achievement (1993), the Diamond Konex Award as the most important Scientist in the last decade in his country (Argentina, 1993), the Prince Mahidol Award, granted by His Majesty the King of Thailand (Bangkok, Thailand, 1999)
  93. On 12th July 2019, Google showed a Doodle celebrating the 96th birthday of René Favaloro
  94. Favaloro participated in educational programming for the public
  95. Distinguishing himself in the television series The Great Medical Themes
  96. And in numerous conferences in Argentina and throughout the world on topics such as medicine, education, and modern society
  97. He was also mentioned in the documentary movie Forks Over Knives

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