Aortic Valve Dilator

Description (Brief):

This aortic dilator designed by the donor Charles P. Bailey, M.D. (1911-1993) was used to widen calcified aortic leaflets, allowing blood to flow more freely through the Mitral valve. In 1948 Dr. Bailey a pioneering cardiac surgeon was the first to attempt an operation for Mitral commissurotomy. Upon reaching the heart Dr. Bailey slipped a finger inside the heart and opened the leaflets with a small knife. The surgery was performed "blind" going into the heart with his index finger with a blade attached and widening the valve. Bailey first four patients did not survive but the fifth patient was a success. First successful June 10, 1948.

Description (Brief)

After World War II physicians in Britain and the United States returned to the question of operating on the mitral valve to relieve stenosis. In Boston Dwight Harken, Russell Brock in England Horace Smithy in Charleston, SC.

Date Made: ca 1951

Maker: George P. Pilling and Son Company

Location: Currently not on view

Place Made: United States: Pennsylvania, Philadelphia

Subject: SurgeryCardiologyMedical Procedure- SurgeryMedicine


See more items in: Medicine and Science: Medicine, Health & Medicine


Exhibition Location:

Credit Line: Gift of Charles P. Bailey, M.D.

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: MG.M-11606Catalog Number: M-11606Accession Number: 267869

Object Name: cardiologydilator, aortic valve

Physical Description: steel (overall material)brass (overall material)Measurements: overall: 1 1/2 in x 2 1/2 in x 11 3/4 in; 3.81 cm x 6.35 cm x 29.845 cm


Record Id: nmah_1455536

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