Haydarpasa Thoracic Surgery Center (1962-Present) and Professor Siyami Ersek, MD (1920-1993)
Ibrahim Yekeler, MD, Mehmet Kaplan, MD
Several institutions and individuals have played key roles in the foundation and development of thoracic and cardiovascular surgery field throughout the world. For Turkey, one of these institutions is the Haydarpasa Thoracic Surgery Center, and one of these people was Prof. Siyami Ersek, MD (Figure 1).
During the 1960s, Siyami Ersek and his colleagues (Figure 2), put a lot of effort in the foundation and development of thoracic and cardiovascular surgery in Turkey, and at the same time, they trained and educated today's students and surgeons.
In parallel with the development of thoracic and cardiovascular surgery throughout the world, the process beginning with closed-heart surgeries and reaching a new stage with open cardiac surgery and modern surgery's foundations was also adopted in our institution and in Turkey. In June 1962, the first pulmonary operation was performed (hydatid cyst-cystectomy, capitonage); in September 1962, the first closed mitral commissurotomy was performed; in April 1963, the first patent ductus arteriosus ligation, the first operation for ventricular septal defect and pulmonary stenosis, and the first Fallot's tetralogy and Brock operation were performed; in June 1963, the first Blalock shunt operation and the first aortic coarctation repair were performed.
In September 1963, the first Fallot's tetralogy repair by open cardiac surgery technique was performed [Ersek 1967]. While acute rheumatic fever was an important cause of cardiac valvular disease in Turkey, valvular replacement operations by open cardiac surgery technique were performed in our hospital, for the first time, in November 1964 with aortic valve replacement and in December 1964 with both aortic and mitral valve replacements [Ersek 1965]. The first triplevalve replacement (aortic, mitral, and tricuspid valves replaced) performed in April 1966 was the first case in Europe [Ersek 1966] (Figure 3).
The first practices of thoracic aortic surgery started with descending aorta replacement in October 1965 and ascending aorta replacement in December 1966. The first cardiac transplantation in our hospital was performed in November 1968, which was the second operation in Turkey, only one day after the first one [Ersek 1969]. Being a year later than the first transplantation case in the world, this case highlights cardiac surgery's advancement in Turkey parallel to the world.
The first steps of coronary surgery were made with the Weinberg operation in 1971, followed by the first aortocoronary bypass graft operation using a saphenous vein graft in 1972 (the first case in Turkey).
During the first 11 years of cardiac surgery practice, when the first steps toward today's modern surgery had been made, nearly 7000 operations had been performed in our center. Today, this figure has reached nearly 70,000 operations (open and closed cardiac surgery, vascular surgery, and thoracic surgery operations).
Siyami Ersek Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery Training and Research Hospital (formerly known as Haydarpasa Thoracic Surgery Center) will celebrate its 45th anniversary on May 12, 2007 (Figure 4). Today, this hospital, which has contributed a lot to the foundation and advancement of thoracic, cardiac, and vascular surgery in Turkey, has become a major hospital in both national and international scales in its region with 14 operation rooms, 56 intensive care beds, and 572 beds in wards, with yearly number of operations reaching approximately 3000 open, 500 closed, 1000 vascular, and 500 thoracic surgical operations; and in 5 cardiac catheterization laboratories and 1 arrhythmia and electrophysiology laboratory, 14,000 coronary angiographies and cardiac catheterizations, 4000 percutaneous coronary interventions (2200 elective, 1800 primary) are performed.
As today's employees, we commemorate Siyami Ersek and his colleagues with respect and gratitude and will be greatly honored during the foundation anniversary's celebrations wherein many pioneers in the field of international health care and nationally and internationally respected figures will be participating.
Ersek S, Aker U, Guran Y, Bayazit K, Kopman E. 1965. On the first 100 open-heart interventions performed by means of the heart-lung machine in the Istanbul Center for Thoracic Surgery. J Turkish Medical Society 31:547-53.
Ersek S, Bayazit K, Guran Y, Kopman E. 1966. Surgery in multiple valvular lesions. J Turkish Medical Society 32:601-5.
Ersek S, Bayazit K, Guran Y, Kopman E, Barlas C, Tulpar S. 1967. Complete repair of Fallot's tetralogy. J Turkish Medical Society 33:518-23.
Ersek S, Barlas C, Cetin H, Sungu U. 1969. Surgical methods in heart transplantation. J Turkish Medical Society 35:554-9.
Correspondence: Mehmet Kaplan (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).
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