Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 2021; 69(01): 008-009
DOI: 10.1055/s-0040-1716568

Galen: The First Cardiac Surgeon?

1  Research Institute for Islamic and Complementary Medicine School of Traditional Medicine, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
2  Department of Persian Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran
3  Independent Researcher, Manama, Bahrain
› Author Affiliations


It is widely believed that the first and the second pericardium surgeries were done in the nineteenth century by Francisco Romero and Dominique Jean Larrey, respectively; however, Galen was the first surgeon who proceeded with pericardiectomy. This ancient case report of sternum osteomyelitis and pericardiectomy illuminates some dark part of the history of medicine and the ability of physicians in that era.


Many events and dates of Galen's life are uncertain or controversial.

Publication History

Received: 03 May 2020

Accepted: 03 August 2020

Publication Date:
30 October 2020 (online)

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