Carlos Manuel Chavez

Carlos Manuel Chavez

Carlos Manuel Chavez

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Carlos Manuel Chavez (born 25 December 1931) is a cardiovascular and thoracic surgeon best known for his participation in the first-ever human heart transplant. He was also the first surgeon to perform a coronary artery bypass, during 1972 in Mississippi, United States, and Monterrey, Mexico.

Chavez was born in Cajamarca, Peru. He was the last of nine children born to Nazario Chávez Aliaga (1891–1979). He graduated from the Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, Lima, Peru in the late 1950s and moved to the United States where he finished his training in Cardiothoracic surgery at the University of Mississippi Medical Center and completed his residency in 1961.

As a young doctor in 1962, Chavez went to the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson for post-graduate training in cardiovascular medicine. "The thrust of research at that time was going toward transplantation," he said.

Heart Transplant

Transplant research began at the University of Mississippi Medical Center’s labs in 1956, investigating operative techniques, organ storage and preservation, post-operative management and other problems.

Chavez visited leading medical centers around the country to learn from their trials and errors, and determine which animals could potentially be the best donors. A donated human heart would have been almost...
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