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Yeltsin’s Heart Surgeon Visits Veterinary College

 Dr. Renat S. Akchurin, the heart surgeon who in 1996 performed a quintuple bypass on Russian president Boris Yeltsin, paid a 10-day visit to the College of Veterinary Medicine to participate in research being conducted by veterinary biosciences faculty Dr. David Gross, head, and Dr. Victor Krylov, visiting research professor. Dr. Krylov had been Dr. Akchurin’s professor and mentor in the 1970s at the USSR Research Centre of Surgery in Moscow.

[Dr. Gross and Co.]

Drs. David Gross and Victor Krylov welcomed Dr. Renat Akchurin (right) to the College at a reception in the Atrium on July 7.

Dr. Akchurin worked with Drs. Gross and Krylov to test a new approach toward artificial valves in veins. “One of the most significant problems facing vascular surgeons today is finding a way to repair venous valves,” says Dr. Gross. Development of a feasible venous valve could have great benefits for varicose veins and deep vein thrombosis, two potentially fatal conditions that are currently refractory to all available treatments. 

Dr. Akchurin is the chief of the department of cardiovascular surgery and angiology at the Cardiology Research Centre in Moscow and one of the most prominent heart surgeons in the world. While in Urbana Dr. Akchurin gave presentations to the University and local medical communities on his experiences performing coronary artery bypass surgery on more than 1,500 patients using microsurgery techniques. Binocular loupes (magnifying lenses worn as eyeglasses) are typically used in U.S. heart surgeries, but Dr. Akchurin’s operating microscope technique has yielded superior results among his patients.

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