It is remarkable that cardiac surgery started in our institution only a few years after it started making its impact in the Western World. the foundations of the Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery department were firmly laid by late Dr. P. K. Sen. He started with closed heart surgeries but was soon closing atrial septal defects using hypothermia and inflow occlusion techniques (1957) before doing so on extra corporeal circulation in March, 1962. Once the heart lung machine became available, other open heart operations like open commissurotomies, valve replacements and repairs of congenital heart defects became routine.
It speaks volumes for Dr. Sen’s quest to be in the forefront that the world’s 5th and 6th heart transplants have been recorded at the K.E.M. Hospital in 1968. But Dr. Sen’s contributions were richly rewarded when he was awarded the Padmabhushan in 1969. He was the recepient of the Dr. B. C. Roy oration and the Neelratan Sarkar oration in the same year. He was well ahead of his time when we notice that transmyocardial laser revascularisation of the nineties is only an extension of his myocardial acupuncture for the treatment of ischaemic heart disease, based on his original research on snake heart principles. And so our Department is named after him as a mark of honour.
Dr. T. P. Kulkarni joined Dr. Sen as Asst. Professor in 1959 and helped him in the various department activities. Dr. Kulkarni was awarded the Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship and trained for two years under Dr. Michael E. Debakey, the pioneering surgeon, who is well known for his contribution to surgery for aneurysms of the thoracic and abdominal aorta. Dr. T. P. Kulkarni on his return contributed further to the development of all vascular surgery.
The department grew rapidly from there on with several energetic, dedicated and eminent surgeons like Dr. G. B. Parulkar, Dr. SharadPandey, Dr. A. P. Chaukar and Dr. S. S. Bhattacharya.
Dr. G. B. Parulkar took on from where Dr. Sen left, brought the CVTS department on the international field. Dr. Parulkar had been an Evarts Graham Fellow and had cultivated life long friendship with who is who of the Cardiovascularspeciality of the world. He was bestowed with Padmabhushan in 1998 and he was the recepient of the Dr. B. C. Roy award for the most eminent medical man of the year 1997.Dr. Parulkar retired as Dean and Professor-Director of Surgery in 1989 Dr. S. S. Bhattacharya started the Coronary Artery Bypass surgery after training with Dr. Dudley Johnson in Milwaukee and left the institutions in 1982-83 to become an institution by him in myocardial revascularization.
The CVTS department has been acknowledged as one of the ten best heart hospitals in the country in Today-Plus (1996) and the department was again recognized as the best training programme for M.Ch students in India Today opinion poll (1998).
While we are proud to have this coveted place of honour, it is the hard work and dedication of our predecessors that has gone into making of this department. The period from 1975 till date has seen a phenomenal increase in work output. Unlike many other teaching institutions, the department has significant load of Thoracic and Vascular cases making the training programme very comprehensive. The surgical excellence of the department attracted patients from rest of Maharashtra as also from all over the country and a few from neighbouring countries. A unique event of Heart Valve Mela was organized in 1997 to bring together patients operated for Heart Valve Replacement over the years and we are happy that several other centers in the country followed suit., valvular, coronary CABG especially off pump i.e beating heart surgery, and all vascular cases.
Founded in 1926, the Seth Gordhandas Sunderdas Medical College (GSMC) and the King Edward Memorial (KEM) Hospital are amongst the foremost teaching and medical care providing institutions in India. The medical college (school) provides training to about 2000 students in undergraduate, postgraduate and superspeciality medical courses; in undergraduate and postgraduate physical and occupational therapy; Masters and PhD courses in various allied specialties. A nursing school is also maintained by these institutions. With about 390 staff physicians and 550 resident doctors, the 1800 bedded hospital treats about 1.8 million out-patients and 85,000 in-patients annually and provides both basic care and advanced treatment facilities in all fields of medicine and surgery. Funded mainly by the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai, these institutions render yeomen service virtually free of cost mostly to the underprivileged sections of the society.