SciELO - Scientific Electronic Library Online

vol.56 issue3Retrospective search for Congenital Rubella Syndrome in children under one year author indexsubject indexarticles search
Home Pagealphabetic serial listing  

Services on Demand




Related links

  • Have no similar articlesSimilars in SciELO


Acta Médica Costarricense

On-line version ISSN 0001-6002Print version ISSN 0001-6012


GUTIERREZ-AGUILAR, Rodrigo. Notes on the history of cardiac surgery in Costa Rica. Acta méd. costarric [online]. 2014, vol.56, n.3, pp.96-100. ISSN 0001-6002.

The history of cardiac surgery in Costa Rica has three fundamental dates, which I have been able to witness due to a twist of fate. 1 May 1917. First suture of a heart wound in Costa Rica. On 9 September 1896 the German, Ludwig Rehn, performed a successful suture of a heart wound in a 22-year old gardener. This date is recognized worldwide as the inauguration of heart surgery, thus ending the myth of surgical inviolability of such organ and erasing the announcement made by the influential surgeon Theodore Billroth, “The surgeon who should attempt to suture a wound of the heart would lose the respect of his colleagues.” Twelve years later, the young Julio Aguilar Soto, from the province of Alajuela, graduated as a physician from prestigious Tulane University in Louisiana, after training in chest surgery with Rudolph Matas, a pioneer in this field. He would soon form part of a distinguished group of surgeons who performed true wonders at the San Juan de Dios Hospital, such as the one concluded on 1 May 1917. Dr. Aguilar Soto avoided talking about this case, due to his reluctance to being praised, despite his solid scientific knowledge. I witnessed this because we had family ties, thus I got to know and share with him a few times back in the 60s. Descriptores: historia, cirugía cardiaca, Costa Rica.

Keywords : history; cardiac surgery; Costa Rica.

        · abstract in Spanish     · text in Spanish     · Spanish ( pdf )


Creative Commons License All the contents of this journal, except where otherwise noted, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License