Who Was René Favaloro? What to Know About the Pioneering Doctor in Today's Google Doodle


If you’ve Googled anything today, you might have noticed a sketch of a heart and a doctor and wondered what that’s about.

The man featured in today’s Google doodle is René Favaloro, an Argentine heart surgeon who performed the first coronary bypass.

Coronary bypass surgery corrects blocked and partially blocked arteries by redirecting blood flow.

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During a coronary bypass, a surgeon takes a healthy blood vessel from another body part, such as the leg, and uses it to redirect blood away from a blocked artery in the heart.

In addition to correcting blocked arteries, coronary bypass surgeries are performed in some emergency situations, such as when a patient is having a heart attack.

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The procedure, sometimes called a coronary-artery bypass graft (CABG), revolutionized the way cardiovascular patients are treated. “CABG is among the most commonly performed major surgical procedures, with approximately 400,000 operations performed annually in the United States,” the New England Journal of Medicine says.

Favaloro performed not only the first coronary bypass surgery but also the first heart transplant in done in Argentina, according to Britannica.

The pioneering doctor was born in La Plata, a suburb of Buenos Aires, in 1923, and worked first as a doctor in Argentina before moving to the US in 1962 to study cardiovascular and thoracic surgery at Cleveland Clinic. He returned to Argentina 10 years later and established a medical institute, the Favaloro Foundation, which is still around today.

After Favaloro’s death in 2000, the Argentine President Fernando de la Rúa established a day of mourning in the country.

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