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 History of Vascular Surgery

Interviews with the Giants of Vascular Surgery, plus the History of SVS

Videos that tell the stories of milestones in vascular surgery – and interviews with some of the giants in the field who made those moments happen – are now available for viewing.

Members of the SVS History Project Work Group interviewed 80 people who influenced the course of vascular surgery, the specialty’s outstanding leaders and contributors. Interviews were conducted with:
  • 40 SVS past presidents
  • 20 honorary members of SVS
  • 20 selected leaders in the field of vascular surgery

Links to 17 completed “leader” videos follow. More will be added as they are completed.
(The links lead to interviews posted via the SVS youtube account.)

​ ​ ​ ​ ​Interviews with Leaders in Vascular Surgery
Dr. Wiley Barker Dr. Allan Callow
Dr. Alexander
Dr. Denton Cooley
Dr. Michael DeBakey, on SVS 50th anniversary
Dr. M. DeBakey, remembering Dr. Rudolph Matas ​Dr. James
Dr. Jimmy Howell
Dr. Julius Jacobson ​Dr. John Ochsner,
Part 1
Part 2
Dr. Juan C. Parodi
​Dr. Charles Rob,
Part 1
Part 2
Dr. Harry Shumacker
Dr. Robert Smith Dr. Frank Veith

NEW: Videos Depicting the History of Vascular Surgery, SVS video screenshot cropped.png

This interview series features leaders and major contributors in the field of vascular surgery. The videos were created by the SVS History Project Work Group, chaired by Dr. James Yao, and followed more than 75 interviews with leaders in the subspecialty. 

Re-live historical vignettes from interviews about experiences in war combat zones, creation of the first Fogarty Catheter, creation of the first grafts, the first SVS business meetings, the thoughts of Dr. Michael DeBakey and much more. (The History Project Work Group now is chaired by Dr. Walter McCarthy.)

​ The History of Vascular Surgery in Three Narrated Videos, Covering Three Distinct Eras

Era l

Antiquity and Reparative Surgery
​Era ll Direct and Reconstructive Surgery
​Era lll ​Endovascular Surgery

Historic Interview

In 1996, the 50th anniversary of Society for Vascular Surgery® (SVS), Drs. Harry B. Shumacker, Jr., and Michael DeBakey were the two surviving members of the 31 founders of the Society. Drs. Shumacker and DeBakey were interviewed about their recollections of the history of the Society. Calvin Ernst interviewed Dr. Shumaker and Dr. Blaisdell talked with Dr. DeBakey. Both Drs. Shumacker and DeBakey since have passed away – Dr. Shumacker on Nov. 14, 2009, and Dr. DeBakey on July 11, 2008.

At left: Michael E. DeBakey, M.D. (left), Harris B. Shumacker, Jr., M.D. 

Books on the History of SVS

The following publications provide information on the history of SVS. 
  1. Yao JST.  Society for Vascular Surgery—The beginning.  J Vasc Surg 2010;51:776-779
  2. Shumacker HB Jr.  The Society for Vascular Surgery—A history: 1945-1983.  Chicago: The Society for Vascular Surgery, 1984
  3. Journal of Vascular Surgery 1996;23(6):957-1157. Special issue commemorating the 50th anniversary (1946-1996) of SVS, edited by Calvin B. Ernst and James S.T. Yao. In addition to the history of SVS, this special issue provides historical information on recent activities of the Society, including accreditation of vascular training programs and certification of vascular surgeons; research and emergence of the Lifeline Foundation, the Research Initiatives meeting, and the National Institutes of Health; the Journal of Vascular Surgery; and the development of the Crawford Critical Issues Forum and the E.J. Wylie Traveling Fellowship. The issue ended with a section of photo memoirs to bring back fond memories of the Society. 
  4. Lilly GD.  The first ten years of the Society for Vascular Surgery.  Surgery 1957;41:1-5
  5. Thompson JE.  The founding fathers.  Surgery 1977;82:801-808
  6. Pearce, WH, Mannick JA, Clowes AW and Yao JST.  Twentieth anniversary of American Vascular Association/Lifeline Foundation: A celebration.  J Vasc Surg 2008;47:1351-1355

In 2003, the International Society for Cardiovascular Surgery, North American Chapter, merged with SVS to become one Society—The Society for Vascular Surgery. Two historical articles about ISCVS-NA provide the historical information of this important partnership.

  1. Haimovici H.  The history of the International Cardiovascular Society.  Journal of Cardiovascular Surgery 1977; 18: 207-240.
  2. Connolly JE.  A view of the International Cardiovascular Society on its silver anniversary.  Arch Surg 1977;112: 1281-1286

History of Vascular Surgery

The following books and articles provide useful information on the history of the development of vascular surgery.

  1. Rob CG A History of arterial surgery.  Arch Surg 1972;105:821-823
  2. Rob CG.  The classics of vascular surgery
  3. Dale WA.  The beginnings of vascular surgery.  Surgery 1974;76:849-866
  4. Dale WA (author), Johnson G (editor), DeWeese JA (editor).  Band of brothers: Creators of modern vascular surgery.  George Johnson and James DeWeese, 1996
  5. Friedman SG.  A History of vascular surgery, 2nd ed.  Malden MA: Blackwell-Futura, 2005
  6. Barker WF.  Clio chirurgica: The arteries.  Austin TX: R.G. Landes Co., 1992
  7. Szilagyi, DE.  A brief account of the long life of D.Emerick Szilagyi, MD.  Evanston IL: Greenwood Academic, 2008
  8. Cohn I.  Rudolph Matas: A biography of one of the great pioneers in surgery.  New York: Doubleday & Co. Inc., 1960


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Phone: 312-334-2300 | 800-258-7188
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