a hundred years ago I was born Rene Geronimo Favalorohe Argentinian doctor who developed the coronary bypassa technique that benefited millions of people around the world and became a milestone in the history of medicine ,

He came into the world on July 12, 1923, in La Plata, capital of the province of Buenos Aires, within a family of Italian immigrants and limited resourcesand managed to transcend to become a world leader in cardiology, mainly for having devised the revolutionary technique that gives a second chance to those who suffer from heart disease. However, this legend of medicine that had various recognitions, had a sad and traumatic end.

“Although the doctor Favaloro wanted to be recognized as a rural doctorhis work and his legacy make the world remember him today as an illustrious Argentine doctor and scientist who revolutionized medicine,” his great-niece told EFE, Laura Favaloro.

He was a tireless innovator“, highlighted the clinical cardiologist with a master’s degree in business administration, who is co-executive director of the Favaloro Foundation.

René Favaloro with his mentor, Mainetti.
File image: René Favaloro with his mentor, Mainetti.

It should be remembered that what I would give international prestige to Favaloro occurred in 1967when he performed the first successful coronary bypass surgery and laid the foundation for the treatment that has benefited more than 55 million lives.

The technique – which circumvented a blockage of coronary arteries with the graft of a vein taken from a leg – is still valid 56 years later and is considered a valuable contribution to combat heart attacks, the main cause of death in the world.

Together with his lifelong wife, who died in 1998. In his close circle, they always pointed out that the death of María Antonia was a blow from which the doctor never managed to recover.
Together with his lifelong wife, who died in 1998. In his close circle, they always pointed out that the death of María Antonia was a blow from which the doctor never managed to recover.

The traumatic end of Favaloro

The end of Favaloro was traumatic. He committed suicide on July 29, 2000 by shooting himself in the heart.defeated by the economic ups and downs and by his commitment against corruption in the health system, with which he did not want to agree.

July 12 of each year is the National Day of Social Medicine in Argentina. And this year, in addition, the main monuments and historical buildings of Buenos Aires were illuminated in red and blue to remember Favaloro, among other tributes.

“I remember him with great emotion and happiness, we had a very close relationship, he was like a grandfather to me,” says his niece.

A concert at the Teatro Colón, a postage stamp and even a public reading of a fragment of one of his books, Memories of a country doctor (1980), were some of the tributes that Argentina paid to Favaloro for his centenary.

Favaloro and his recognized “professional ethics”

René favaloro It is also recognized in Argentina for his humanistic approach to medicine, his defense of professional ethics and of the ideals of freedom, justice, ethics, respect, the search for truth and social medicine.

An anecdote shows his character at an early age, since as soon as he graduated as a doctor, in 1949, he agreed to a position at the Hospital Policlinico de La Plata, where he they asked him to accept the doctrine of the Peronist government; he refused because it meant betraying his principles.

He moved in 1950 to a small town in the Argentine province of The Pampaswhere he arrived to replace a colleague and stayed for twelve years, a period in which together with his brother, Juan José, also a doctor, created a care center and raised the social, health and educational level of the region.

Favaloro was distinguished with the most prestigious international medicine awards, and at the local level he was tempted to be Minister of Health and Governor of the province of Buenos Aires. But instead created the foundation that bears his name and an institute of Cardiology and Cardiovascular Surgery.

The legacy of René Favaloro

Following his interest in the first cardiovascular interventions, Favaloro traveled to the United States in 1962, where he received a scholarship to study surgical techniques at the prestigious Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, and worked with Mason Sones (1918-1985), who developed coronary angiography.

The standardization of myocardial revascularization surgery was the result of deep knowledge of his specialty and many hours of research, which was detailed in his book “Surgical Treatment of Coronary Arteriosclerosis.”

In 1971, rejecting job offers in the United States, he decided to return to Argentina to organize a center of excellence in cardiovascular surgery that would combine medical assistance with teaching and research.

Four years later, established the nonprofit Favaloro Foundation to advance medical research, provide quality care to patients, and train future health professionals.

Today, Both the Foundation and the Favaloro University are centers of recognized scientific prestige. “His legacy is still more alive today than ever and transcends borders,” remarked Laura Favaloro, who adds that, even, “crossed the borders of the Earth”, because an asteroid bears his name.

“Surgeons from all over the world continue to apply this same technique against cardiac pathologies” and “the Favaloro Foundation, in these 31 years, has established itself as a center of excellence in highly complex medicine for the region, with marked scientific activity at the international level”, highlighted the niece of the medicine legend on her birthday number 100.

The people expressed their pain after the death of the heart surgeon.
The people expressed their pain after the death of the heart surgeon.

With images and information from the Grupo Atlantida Archive and EFE

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Original Publisher: https://www.gente.com.ar/actualidad/un-siglo-de-rene-favaloro-el-traumatico-final-del-argentino-que-desarrollo-el-bypass-coronario/