American surgeon Michael E. DeBakey dies at age 99

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Michael E. DeBakey

Michael Ellis DeBakey, world renowned heart surgeon, has died in Houston, Texas at the age of 99.

He was born Michel Dabaghi on September 7, 1908 in Lake Charles, Louisiana, to Lebanese immigrants Shaker and Raheeja DeBakey.

DeBakey was the chancellor emeritus of Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, and director of The DeBakey Heart Center of Baylor and the Methodist Hospital.

DeBakey pioneered the use of Dacron grafts to replace or repair blood vessels. In 1958, to counteract narrowing of an artery caused by an endarterectomy, DeBakey performed the first successful patch-graft angioplasty. This procedure involved patching the slit in the artery from an endarterectomy with a Dacron or vein graft. The patch widened the artery so that when it closed the channel of the artery returned to normal size. The DeBakey artificial graft is now used around the world to replace or repair blood vessels.