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March 1985

The Development of Arterial ProsthesesA Personal View

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York.

Arch Surg. 1985;120(3):289-295. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1985.01390270029006

When your President, Dr Robert Smith, invited me to address you, he suggested as a topic the evolution of arterial grafting. As this is a subject of particular interest to me, I was delighted to accept and am honored to participate in these meetings.

I would like to begin by speculating on how man has dealt with arterial injury from the mists of antiquity to the present day, when, just this year, vascular surgery has been recognized as a formal specialty of general surgery. It seems relevant to put our present knowledge of prosthetic grafting into a historical perspective. There have been many significant contributors, and I will mention only a few who seem particularly important to me.

Before recorded history man must have had some perception of the relationship between injury and blood loss, with its subsequent threat to life. His weapons, against man and beast, were primarily designed

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