24 Pictures of the Controversial First Heart Transplant in Poland
24 Pictures of the Controversial First Heart Transplant in Poland

24 Pictures of the Controversial First Heart Transplant in Poland

Jacob Miller - July 27, 2017

Dr. Zbigniew Religa was a prominent Polish cardiac surgeon and politician. In 1963, Religa finished his studies at the Medical University of Warsaw. In 1973, he visited New York City to train in vascular surgery, and in 1975 he trained in cardiac surgery in Detroit.

Dr. Religa is famous for performing the first successful heart transplant in Poland in 1987 despite strong opposition from the powerful Catholic Church, medical society, government, and general populace at large. The Catholic Church believed that it was damning to desecrate a body by removing any organs. The existing hospitals were worried they would lose their licenses by playing God in such a manner and refused to attempt such procedures despite them becoming increasingly regular in Western nations. Without any government funding, support or resources, Dr. Religa and his team privately raised the funds, allegedly going to the Polish Mafia for assistance, founded the Silesian Heart Disease Center in Zabrze.

On August 15, 1985, Dr. Religa performed his first heart operation. Three months later, on November 5 his team conducted the first successful cardiac transplant in Poland on Tadeusz Zitkevits. The donor was in a coma, and after verification of brain death, the organs were transferred from Warsaw to Zabrze. The successful surgery lasted 23 hours.

Dr. Zbigniew Religa also was the first surgeon in Poland to graft an artificial heart valve in June 1995.

Dr. Religa was also a senator from 1993-1997 and again from 2001-2005. From 2005 to 2006, he served as the Minister of Health.

Dr. Zbigniew Religa died on March 8, 2009.

24 Pictures of the Controversial First Heart Transplant in Poland
Religa and his wife at home. oil.org:pl

24 Pictures of the Controversial First Heart Transplant in Poland

24 Pictures of the Controversial First Heart Transplant in Poland
Professor Zbigniew Religa. photo by Grzegorz Celejewski
24 Pictures of the Controversial First Heart Transplant in Poland
Dr. Religia getting his scrubs on before the operation. Agencja Gazeta
24 Pictures of the Controversial First Heart Transplant in Poland
Zbigniew Religa during the heart operation, Silesian Medical University. Viva
24 Pictures of the Controversial First Heart Transplant in Poland
Operation under the direction of Zbigniew Religa. neewsweek
24 Pictures of the Controversial First Heart Transplant in Poland
Zbigniew Religa during the open heart surgery. Grzegorz Celejewski : Agencja Gazeta
24 Pictures of the Controversial First Heart Transplant in Poland
The first successful heart transplant on 5 November 1985 was made by prof. Zbigniew Religi. Polskie Radio
24 Pictures of the Controversial First Heart Transplant in Poland
Dr. Religa at the opperating table. Polskie Radio
24 Pictures of the Controversial First Heart Transplant in Poland
Professor Zbigniew Religa. photo by Grzegorz Celejewski
24 Pictures of the Controversial First Heart Transplant in Poland
Professor Zbigniew Religa. photo by Krzysztof Miller

24 Pictures of the Controversial First Heart Transplant in Poland
Dr. Religa smokes his cigarette and drinks his coffee after the 23 hour surgery. kobietagazeta
24 Pictures of the Controversial First Heart Transplant in Poland
Zbigniew Religa with a patient, photo from the 80s. ksiazki.wp
24 Pictures of the Controversial First Heart Transplant in Poland
Religa walking away from his successful surgery. zmescience
24 Pictures of the Controversial First Heart Transplant in Poland
Religa wiht his team post-surgery. zmescience
24 Pictures of the Controversial First Heart Transplant in Poland
Religa’s team picks him up in celebration. zmescience
24 Pictures of the Controversial First Heart Transplant in Poland
They toss him in the air. zmescience
24 Pictures of the Controversial First Heart Transplant in Poland
Dr. Religa and his team after the transplant. dziennikzachodni
24 Pictures of the Controversial First Heart Transplant in Poland
Religa, elated after a successful surgery. Wiadomosci
24 Pictures of the Controversial First Heart Transplant in Poland
Dr. Religa with an open heart mannequin. Poland
24 Pictures of the Controversial First Heart Transplant in Poland
Lech Kaczyński and Zbigniew Religa in Halemba (November 22, 2006). Wikipedia
24 Pictures of the Controversial First Heart Transplant in Poland
Religia’s patient, Tadeusz Zitkevits, not only survived, but outlived his doctor. Quora
24 Pictures of the Controversial First Heart Transplant in Poland
1/16/1992, Doctor Religa with his famous picture. iwoman

 

Also Check these out:

Wikipedia – Zbigniew Religa

Rare Historical Photos – Dr. Zbigniew Religa Monitors His Patient’s Vitals After A 23 Hour Long Heart Transplant Surgery, 1987

Polandin – Poland Marks 10th Anniversary Of Renowned Cardiac Surgeon’s Death

Interesting Facts: 16 Medical Procedures and Devices from the Early 1900s that are Straight Out of a Nightmare

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