Photo of Dr. C. Walton Lillihei in the operating room
Dr. C. Walton Lillihei in the operating room.
1952
Dr. C. Walton Lillehei and Dr. F. John Lewis used hypothermia to temporarily slow the heartbeat of a five-year-old girl before performing a surgical repair to a hole in her heart, demonstrating the possibility of open-heart surgery. Because hypothermia limits the amount of time for surgery, this method failed to gain widespread popularity.

[Photo courtesy of Lillehei Heart Institute, Department of Medicine, Medical School, Academic Health Center, University of Minnesota]