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Francisco Romero was a Spanish physician who became the first successful heart surgeon, on record, by performing an open pericardiostomy to treat a pericardial effusion in 1801.[1] According to a lost, but later found, memoir belonging to Romero, he performed at least two successful open pericardial drainages with no deaths.[2] Also according to his memoir, he performed five open drainages of pleural effusions with success, with one patient dying at 6 months.[2] Romero is credited as the first heart surgeon, since he was the first medical doctor on record to cut into the pericardium, the lining of the heart, on a living patient with a successful outcome.[3]


  1. ^ Aris, A (September 1997). "Francisco Romero, the first heart surgeon". Ann. Thorac. Surg. 64: 870–1. doi:10.1016/s0003-4975(97)00760-1. PMID 9307502.
  2. ^ a b Aris, Alejandro MD, PhD (1997). "Francisco Romero, the First Heart Surgeon". Elsevier Science Inc; The Society of Thoracic Surgeons. Retrieved 2014-09-06.
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  • Aris A (1997). Francisco Romero, the first heart surgeon. Annals of Thoracic Surgery. 64(3):870-1