Denton A Cooley

In the 1950s Cooley returned to Houston to become associate professor of surgery at Baylor College of Medicine and to work at its affiliate institution, The Methodist Hospital. During the 1950s, Cooley began working with American cardiac surgeon, scientist, and medical educator Michael E. DeBakey. During that time he worked on developing a new method of removing aortic aneurysms, the bulging weak spots that may develop in the wall of the artery.

In 1960, Cooley moved his practice to St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital while continuing to teach at Baylor. In 1962 he founded The Texas Heart Institute with private funds and, following a dispute with DeBakey, he resigned his position at Baylor in 1969.
His skill as a surgeon was demonstrated as he successfully performed numerous bloodless open-heart surgeries on Jehovah’s Witnesses patients beginning in the early 1960s.

He and his colleagues worked on developing new artificial heart valves from 1962 to 1967; during that period, mortality for heart valve transplants fell from 70% to 8%. In 1969, he became the first heart surgeon to implant an artificial heart designed by Domingo Liotta in a man, Haskell Karp, who lived for 65 hours. The next year, in 1970, “he performed the first implantation of an artificial heart in a human when no heart replacement was immediately available.”

More Info at: Denton Cooley – Wikipedia

Additional Articles associated with this person’s firsts:


      Denton A Cooley
      Heart and Cardiothoracic Surgeon, Founder and Surgeon in-chief of The Texas Heart Institute, Chief of Cardiovascular Surgery at Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center, Consultant in Cardiovascular Surgery at Texas Children’s Hospital, Clinical Professor of Surgery at the University of Texas Health Science Center
      August 22, 1920, Houston, Texas, United States
      November 18, 2016, Houston, Texas, United States
      Louise Goldborough Thomas (m. 1949–2016)
      Susan Cooley,
      Louise Davis,
      Mary Craddock,
      Helen Fraser,
      Florence Cooley
      Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine,
      Lanier Middle School,
      University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston,
      Johns Hopkins University, University of Texas at Austin


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