Founding of SVS

The Society for Vascular Surgery was founded on July 3, 1946, at the Fairmount Hotel in San Francisco, California, by thirty-one vascular surgeons looking to improve the field.  In August 2021, SVS kicked off a year-long celebration of its 75th Anniversary. 

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The Giants of Vascular Surgery - Video Interviews

Videos that tell the stories of milestones in vascular surgery -- including interviews with some of the giants in the field who made those moments happen -- are now available for viewing.

Members of the SVS History Project Work Group interviewed 80 people who influenced the course of vascular surgery and who have been the specialty’s outstanding leaders and contributors. Interviews were conducted with:

  • 40 SVS past presidents
  • 20 honorary members of SVS
  • 20 selected leaders in the field of vascular surgery

Use the scrolling video player above, or visit the complete History Project playlist on YouTube.

You may also view individual interviews by clicking on a name below:

A History of Vascular Nursing
Dr. Enrico Ascher
Dr. Ronald Baird
Dr. Panagiotis Balas
Dr. William H. Baker
Dr. Wiley Barker
Dr. Jonathan D. Beard
Dr. Jean-Pierre Becquemin
Dr. Ramon Berguer
Dr. William Blaisdell
Dr. Jan D. Blankensteijn
Dr. Jan S. Brunkwall
Dr. Jacob Buth
Dr. Allan Callow
Dr. Richard Cambria
Dr. Piergiorgio Cao
Dr. Stephen W. K. Cheng
Dr. Timothy A. M. Chuter
Dr. G. Patrick Clagett
Dr. Alexander Clowes
Dr. John E. Connolly
Dr. Denton Cooley
Dr. Jack Cronenwett
Dr. Herbert Dardik
Dr. Richard H. Dean
Dr. Michael DeBakey, on SVS 50th Anniversary
Dr. Michael DeBakey, remembering Dr. Rudolph Matas
Dr. Michael DeBakey - Scroll of Honors and Awards
Dr. Michael DeBakey - Remembered by Colleagues
Dr. Michael DeBakey Library/Museum Tour
Dr. Michael DeBakey Library/Museum Development Background
Dr. Michael DeBakey Library/Museum Project Background
Dr. James DeWeese
Dr. Edward Diethrich
Dr. Ben Eiseman
Dr. Jose Fernandes e Fernandes
Dr. Thomas J. Fogarty
Dr. Julie Ann Freischlag
Dr. Peter Gloviczki 
Dr. Jerry Goldstone
Dr. Richard M. Green
Dr. Olivier Goeau-Brissonniere
Dr. Lazar Greenfield
Dr. Roger M. Greenhalgh
Dr. John P. Harris
Dr. Norman Hertzer
Dr. Larry Hollier
Dr. Jimmy Howell
Dr. Anthony Imparato
Dr. Julius H. Jacobson II
Dr. K. Wayne Johnston
Dr. Craig Kent
Dr. Robert L. Kistner
Dr. Peter F. Lawrence
Dr. Christos D. Liapis
Dr. Frank LoGerfo
Mr. William Maloney
Dr. Kenneth Mattox
Dr. James May
Dr. Craig Miller
Dr. John Mannick
Dr. Frans L. Moll 
Dr. Wesley Moore
Dr. Hassan Najafi
Dr. George P. Noon
Dr. John Ochsner, Part 1, Part 2
Dr. Thomas F. O'Donnell, Jr.
Dr. Juan C. Parodi
Dr. William H. Pearce
Dr. Bruce Perler
Dr. Anatoly V. Pokrovsky
Dr. Jean-Baptiste Ricco
Dr. Norman Rich
Dr. Thomas Riles
Dr. Charles Rob, Part 1,   Part 2 
Dr. Harry Shumacker
Dr. Gregorio A. Sicard
Dr. Anton N. Sidawy
Dr. Robert B. Smith, III
Dr. Frank Spencer
Dr. James C. Stanley
Dr. Ronald Stoney
Dr. Jonathan Towne
Dr. Frank Veith I
Dr. Frank Veith II
Dr. J. Leonel Villavicencio
Dr. Shenming Wang
Dr. Milton Weinberg
Dr. Jock R. Wheeler
Dr. Anthony D. Whittemore
Dr. John H.N. Wolfe
Dr. James S.T. Yao
Dr. Christopher Zarins
Dr. Robert M. Zwolak

History of Vascular Surgery and SVS

This interview series features leaders and major contributors in the field of vascular surgery. The videos were created in 2017 by the SVS History Project Work Group, chaired by Dr. James Yao, and followed more than 75 interviews with leaders in the subspecialty. The History Project Work Group now is chaired by Dr. Walter McCarthy.

Re-live historical vignettes from interviews about experiences in war combat zones, creation of the first Fogarty Catheter, creation of the first grafts, the first SVS business meetings, the thoughts of Dr. Michael DeBakey and much more.

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Era I: Antiquity and Reparative Surgery

Era II: Direct and Reconstructive Surgery

Era III: Endovascular Surgery


Historic Interview with SVS Founders

At left: Michael E. DeBakey, M.D. (left), Harris B. Shumacker, Jr., M.D.
At left: Michael E. DeBakey, M.D. (left), Harris B. Shumacker, Jr., M.D.

In 1996, the 50th anniversary of the Society for Vascular Surgery, Drs. Harry B. Shumacker, Jr., and Michael DeBakey were the two surviving members of the 31 founders of the Society. Drs. Shumacker and DeBakey were interviewed about their recollections of the history of the Society. Calvin Ernst interviewed Dr. Shumacker and Dr. Blaisdell talked with Dr. DeBakey. Both Drs. Shumacker and DeBakey since have passed away – Dr. Shumacker on Nov. 14, 2009, and Dr. DeBakey on July 11, 2008.

Watch Dr. Michael E. DeBakey

Watch Dr. Harry B. Shumacker


Books on the History of SVS

The following publications provide information on the history of SVS. 

  • Yao JST.  Society for Vascular Surgery—The beginning.  J Vasc Surg 2010;51:776-779
  • Shumacker HB Jr.  The Society for Vascular Surgery—A history: 1945-1983.  Chicago: The Society for Vascular Surgery, 1984
  • Journal of Vascular Surgery 1996;23(6):957-1157. Special issue commemorating the 50th anniversary (1946-1996) of SVS, edited by Calvin B. Ernst and James S.T. Yao. In addition to the history of SVS, this special issue provides historical information on recent activities of the Society, including accreditation of vascular training programs and certification of vascular surgeons; research and emergence of the Lifeline Foundation, the Research Initiatives meeting, and the National Institutes of Health; the Journal of Vascular Surgery; and the development of the Crawford Critical Issues Forum and the E.J. Wylie Traveling Fellowship. The issue ended with a section of photo memoirs to bring back fond memories of the Society. 
  • Lilly GD.  The first ten years of the Society for Vascular Surgery.  Surgery 1957;41:1-5
  • Thompson JE.  The founding fathers.  Surgery 1977;82:801-808
  • Pearce, WH, Mannick JA, Clowes AW and Yao JST.  Twentieth anniversary of American Vascular Association/Lifeline Foundation: A celebration.  J Vasc Surg 2008;47:1351-1355

In 2003, the International Society for Cardiovascular Surgery, North American Chapter, merged with SVS to become one Society—The Society for Vascular Surgery. Two historical articles about ISCVS-NA provide the historical information of this important partnership.

  • Haimovici H.  The history of the International Cardiovascular Society.  Journal of Cardiovascular Surgery 1977; 18: 207-240.
  • Connolly JE.  A view of the International Cardiovascular Society on its silver anniversary.  Arch Surg 1977;112: 1281-1286


Additional Resources

The following books and articles provide useful information on the history of the development of vascular surgery.

  • Rob CG A History of arterial surgery.  Arch Surg 1972;105:821-823
  • Rob CG.  The classics of vascular surgery.
  • Dale WA.  The beginnings of vascular surgery.  Surgery 1974;76:849-866
  • Dale WA (author), Johnson G (editor), DeWeese JA (editor).  Band of brothers: Creators of modern vascular surgery.  George Johnson and James DeWeese, 1996
  • Friedman SG.  A History of vascular surgery, 2nd ed.  Malden MA: Blackwell-Futura, 2005
  • Barker WF.  Clio chirurgica: The arteries.  Austin TX: R.G. Landes Co., 1992
  • Szilagyi, DE.  A brief account of the long life of D. Emerick Szilagyi, MD.  Evanston IL: Greenwood Academic, 2008
  • Cohn I.  Rudolph Matas: A biography of one of the great pioneers in surgery.  New York: Doubleday & Co. Inc., 1960

Society for Vascular Surgery Presidents 1947 - 2022