The Early Days of Cardiac Surgery in South Asia

  • #HC 01-EP-3
  • The History and the Modern State of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery. E-POSTER (ORAL) SESSION
  • E-Poster (oral)

The Early Days of Cardiac Surgery in South Asia

Nazmul Hosain

Chittagong Medical College, Chittagong, Bangladesh

Date, time and location: 2018.05.26 08:30, Exhibition area, 1st Floor. Zone – D



South Asia is the geographical region occupying the south central part of the Asian continent. The 5.1 million square kilometers area of the 8 countries of the region is inhabited by 1.8 billion People who constitute 23% of World population and share common history and heritage.


Information was collected for over a decade from these countries through personal visits, interviews, searching journals and internet. The objective of the paper is to depict the interesting pieces of historic heritage. Publishing some interesting historic links in the development of cardiac surgery in the region would inspire brotherhood and collaboration among the cardiac surgeons.


India was first to establish cardiac surgery chronologically followed by Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Afghanistan. Six countries of the region, save tiny Bhutan and the Maldives, have their own cardiac surgical programs. The first reported heart injury repair of south Asia in 1946 took place exactly 50 years after the first successful cardiac wound repair by Dr Ludwig Rehn of Germany in 1896. The first intracardiac repair using surface hypothermia by Dr P K Sen in 1956 was only 4 year later that the World’s first such operation by Dr Walton Lillehei in 1952. The first use of Cardio-Pulmonary Bypass in South Asia by Dr K N Dastur in 1961 was 8 years after first such operation by Dr John Gibbon in 1953.


South Asia didn’t lag far behind from the Western World in commencing Cardiac Surgery. The pioneering surgeons deserve respect for their sacrifice, dedication and innovation overcoming the economic hardship and bureaucratic barriers. It is time to pay respect and gratitude to those bold surgical pioneers for the invaluable contribution they had made in the development of cardiac surgery in this region benefitting almost a quarter of the World population today.

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