Pioneers of congenital heart surgery in India: historical perspective

Mumbai - The Gateway of Congenital Heart Surgery to India


Congenital heart surgery was born in the USA and then spread all over the world in the second half of the twentieth century. The speciality was brought to India by foreign-trained Indian surgeons as well as American and Canadian missionary surgeons. The first generation Indian surgeons were trained in the USA, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. In this article, an attempt is made to explore how the pioneer surgeons established this speciality in India by reviewing the published literature, visiting institutions of historical significance, and also interviewing few surgeons who took the key role in both laying the foundation as well as training the next generation surgeons.

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In writing this article, my heartfelt gratitude and sincere appreciation go to the following pioneers, stalwarts, mentors and colleagues who were part of the history at different places and different times and were promptly willing to give their valuable time to share their experiences and roles in the development of congenital heart surgery in our country:

Dr. Stanley John (Bangalore), Dr. P. Venugopal (New Delhi), Dr. PS Jairaj (Bangalore), Dr. K M Cherian (Chennai)

Dr. Ganesh Mani (New Delhi), Dr. KS Iyer (New Delhi), Dr. Vinayak Shukla(Vellore), Dr. Rajesh Sharma (New Delhi)

I also wish to thank Dr, Zainulabdeen, Director of Masina Heart Institute, Mumbai; Dr. Shirish S Pargaonkar, Head Department of CVTS, Miraj Heart Institute, Wanless Hospital, Miraj; and Dr. Roy Thankachan, Head Department of CVTS, Christian Medical College, Vellore, for their invaluable inputs and contributions.

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Correspondence to Krishna Manohar S R.

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Manohar S R, K. Pioneers of congenital heart surgery in India: historical perspective. Indian J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 37, 9–16 (2021).

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  • Congenital
  • Heart
  • Surgery
  • India
  • History