75 Facts for 75 Years

How Much Do You Know About the SVS?

Dive into the history of the SVS as we collectively celebrate its 75th anniversary! Visit this page from April 5 to June 18 as we share a new fact about the Society each day*. Learn about past presidents, meetings, discoveries and so much more. 

*Please note that facts occurring on weekend days will not be posted until the following Monday.

Building 75 Facts 

  1. The first President of the SVS was Alton Ochsner, MD and he was elected in 1946. 
  2. The first Society meeting took place in San Francisco in 1946 at the Fairmont Hotel. 
  3. The Society was the brainchild of James Ross Veal. He conceived the idea in 1938 while he was staff surgeon at Louisiana State University in New Orleans.
  4. The first simulation session for students and residents from the SVS took place in 2011.
  5. The first Annual Meeting was held June 8, 1947, in Atlantic City. Alton Oschsner presided over eight scientific presentations.
  6. The SVS began with 31 charter members.
  7. In 1984 the SVS and the North American Chapter of the ISCVS (NA-ISCVS) jointly founded the Journal of Vascular Surgery.
  8. In 2014, Julie Ann Freischlag, MD served as the first female SVS President.
  9. The first female member of the SVS was Dr. Sally S. Mattingly in 1981.
  10. The first-ever #SVSTweetChat took place in April 2021.
  11. In 1996, the 50th anniversary of the SVS, Drs. Harry B. Shumacker, Jr., and Michael DeBakey were the two surviving members of the 31 founders of the Society. 
  12. Dr. Michael Ellis DeBakey (1908-2008) was a founding member of SVS and a founding editor of the Journal of Vascular Surgery.
  13. EVAR was first undertaken by a Ukranian surgeon Nicholas Volodos in 1987; however, it was a later publication by Juan Carlos Parodi in 1991 that was responsible for the widespread introduction of EVAR across the globe.
  14. The first issue of JVS was published January 1984.
  15. JVS was first published every other month, until 1986 when it became a monthly publication.
  16. The SVS Political Action Committee (PAC) was established under the leadership of Dr. Robert Zwolak.
  17. The first issue that the SVS PAC supported in conversations with Members of Congress was Medicare coverage for AAA screening.
  18. The size of the SVS PAC has increased 10-fold in the last 15 years.
  19. The first seal for the society wasn't created until 1955. It was based on a lithograph of John Hunter.
  20. The society was first conceaved by James Ross Veal in 1938.
  21. Dr. Rudolf Matas played an integral role in bringing together some of the first members of the society. To honor his contribution, the society's first gavel was named the "Matas Gavel".
  22. The first decade of the society saw an incredible breakthrough in direct arterial surgery.
  23. The femoropopliteal vein graft was first used in 1948.
  24. Aortic homographt for aortic aneurysm was first used in 1951.
  25. Carotid endartorectomy was first used in 1953.
  26. Between the years 1957-1966 vascular surgery saw major growth of "operative procedures following the introduction of catheter selective arteriogram and, with refinement of prosthetic grafts, revascularization procedures being extended to all parts of the body."
  27. The India Chapter of the SVS was the very first SVS International Chapter to form.
  28. The SVS International Scholars Program first began in 2008, bringing Scholars to the VAM from Brazil, Greece, Turkey, China, and India.
  29. The SVS first began welcoming Affiliate members in 2005. Today, there are more than 500 nurses, PAs, technologists, and other non-physicians SVS members.
  30. The SVS Board approved the Education/Research Foundation at the June 1986 Council meeting. 
  31. The first board members of the Education/Research Foundation included Vic Bernhardt (VP), Allan Callow, Cal Ernst (President), Wesley Moore and Malcolm Perry (Secretary/Treasurer).
  32. The foundation’s financial support was a grant of $50,000 from SVS; W. L. Gore, $10,000; and contributions from board of directors’ members, $4,000.
  33. The first-ever virtual VAM took place in 2020 and only happened due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  34. The first-ever hybrid meeting took place in 2021 with options to attend in-person in San Diego, CA or online via live-stream. 
  35. Dr. Michael DeBakey became foundation president and the foundation was registered in Illinois as a legal entity in 1988.
  36. The Foundation for Research and Education adopted a new name: The Lifeline Foundation in 1989.
  37. In 2020, the first-ever online election for SVS officers had to be held due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 
  38. In 2021, the SVS officially moved to online elections for SVS officers so any Active/Senior member of the SVS could participate - regardless of if they were attending VAM or not. 
  39. In 2021, the SVS officially moved to online elections for SVS officers so any Active/Senior member of the SVS could participate - regardless of if they were attending VAM or not.
  40. SVS Member and International Lifetime Achievement Award winner, Dr. Juan Parodi once removed a gangrenous gall bladder from a poor Argentinian priest who would go on to become Pope Francis
  41. In 2017, the SVS created the SVS PA Section as a "professional home" to PAs. Today, there are more than 250 PAs in the Section
  42. In 2019 the SVS and Society for Vascular Nursing (SVN) joined to offer registered nurses a dual membership to both societies. Today, SVS Affiliate Membership is home to nearly 200 registered nurses
  43. Since the early 2000s, the SVS has been offering scholarships to sponsor medical students and surigical residents at the VAM. As of 2022, more than 1,800 VAM Travel scholarships have been awarded.
  44. The first SVS president of the new millennium was Dr. Jonathan B. Towne, who spoke on the need to recognize vascular surgery as a distinct specialty at his 2000 Presidential Address.
  45. Dr Robert R. Linton's address at the SVS Annual Meeting in 1948, entitled “Arteriosclerotic Popliteal Aneurysms,” was the first presentation in which the surgical treatment of arterial disease was discussed.
  46. In the late 1980s, the Research Forum for basic investigative work was organized and incorporated as part of the scientific program, and the E. J. Wylie Traveling Fellowship was inaugurated.
  47. The Critical Issues Forum was initiated in 1988 and renamed the E. Stanley Crawford Critical Issues Forum in 1993.
  48. In June of 1979, a Joint Council of SVS/ISCVS-NA approved the implementation of evaluation and endorsement of vascular training programs.
  49. In 1996 the leaders of both the SVS and the North American Chapter of the International Society for Cardiovascular Surgery founded the American Board of Vascular Surgery (ABVS).
  50. In February of 2003, the SVS and AAVS councils voted to recruit an independent executive director and move the society offices to Chicago.
  51. In 2016, The Society for Vascular Surgery, the American Podiatric Medical Association and the Society for Vascular Medicine collaboratively published their first-ever set of clinical practice guidelines for treating the diabetic foot.
  52. Dr. Jack Cronenwett, 2016 SVS Lifetime Achievement Award winner, was largely responsible for the development of the then new vascular training paradigm, the 0+5 residency, at Dartmouth.
  53. In 1969, Dr. Thomas Fogarty first received the patent for his Fogarty® balloon embolectomy catheter.
  54. The Society for Vascular Surgery Patient Safety Organization (SVS PSO) was first approved by the Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality (AHRQ) in 2011 to oversee the data sharing partnerships and patient safety initiatives of the VQI.
  55. The first official SVS seal, carrying the image of another vascular surgery pioneer, John Hunter, was designed and implemented on the membership certificate by SVS Secretary Henry Swan in 1955.
  56. The SVS has helped secure many legislative wins on behalf of the specialty. In 2005, this was the Screening Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms Very Efficiently (SAAAVE) Act. The SVS served as the lead organization in the National Aneurysm Alliance, with former President Dr. Robert Zwolak as a key operative in the coalition.
  57. The second JVS journal, JVS: Venous and Lymphatic Disorders first launched in 2014.
  58. The popular Audible Bleeding podcast, which features episodes on all things vascular, first joined the SVS Communications family in 2020.
  59. The inaugural edition of the Vascular Education and Self-Assessment Program (VESAP) first launched in 2008.

For more SVS history, visit the History webpage.