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.

For more SVS history, visit the History webpage.