Closing An Open Heart
Robert E. Gross, a pediatric surgeon, perfected one of the earliest surgical procedures on the heart. In 1939, while on staff at Boston Children's Hospital, Gross devised a surgical approach to correct patent ductus arteriosus, which is an abnormal opening between the pulmonary artery and the aorta. Gross performed the first such procedure on this date in 1939, on a 7-year-old girl. Gross, who later became professor of children's surgery at Harvard Medical School and surgeon-in-chief at Boston Children's Hospital, wrote the first modern book on pediatric surgery. The book, "The Surgery of Infancy and Childhood," was published in 1953.
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