Historical Summary of Emory Vascular Surgery

Dr. Daniel Elkin

Dr. Daniel Elkin

The evolution of vascular surgery at the Emory University School of Medicine began with Dr. Daniel Elkin's 1930-1955 tenure as the first chair of the Department of Surgery. An Emory graduate who completed his surgical residency at the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital in Boston under the mentorship of Dr. Harvey Cushing, Dr. Elkin can rightfully be considered — along with Dr. Rudolph Matas — one of the original fathers of vascular surgery in the United States.

In 1934, Dr. Elkin published a remarkable report detailing the surgical treatment of a series of 62 aneurysms. At the 1940 Annual Meeting of the American Surgical Association he described his successful treatment of a patient with a symptomatic infrarenal aortic aneurysm that was still alive 11 months after the procedure, representing only one of six patients in the literature to have survived longer than six months after aortic ligation. In his 1941 paper "The diagnosis and treatment of cardiac trauma," he recounted the surgical interventions he performed on the largest collection of patients with penetrating trauma of the heart to be effectively treated at that time.

A prolific author throughout the 30s, 40s, and early 50s, Dr. Elkin's lasting contributions include his description of pericadiocentesis for cardiac tamponade, and his popularization of what are now considered standard operative exposures of vascular structures, including the proximal subclavian and innominate arteries, the peroneal artery, and the intraosseous portion of the vertebral body.

Through such achievements and activities, Dr. Elkin solidified the Department's position in the vanguard of surgical practice and research. He also advanced the surgical curriculum at Emory by elevating teaching to equal footing with clinical activities and by adding a year to the surgical residency.

Dr. Garland Perdue

Dr. Garland Perdue

Dr. Garland Perdue continued the spirit and energy of Dr. Elkin's influence. After serving in a special forces unit during World War II, Dr. Perdue returned to Emory to complete medical school and his surgical training and was appointed chief of the Division of Vascular Surgery in 1960. He founded the Emory residency in vascular surgery (one of the first accredited vascular residency programs in the country) in 1969 with his colleague Dr. Robert Smith, initiated Emory's transplantation service by doing the first kidney transplant in Georgia in 1966, published a large number of scholarly clinical reports, presided over the International Society for Cardiovascular Surgery-North American Chapter (now the American Association for Vascular Surgery), and was a founding member and past president of the Southern Association for Vascular Surgery.

Dr. Perdue stepped down as chief in 1984. After an extended series of illnesses, he died on September 11, 2007, at age 81. In 2008, his family and many of his grateful residents, colleagues, and friends initiated the Annual Garland Perdue Lectureship to honor his legacy as one of the premier vascular surgeons, educators, and innovators in the South during the second half of the twentieth century.

Dr. Robert Smith

Dr. Robert Smith

The chief of the Division from 1984-1998, Dr. Robert B. Smith, III, ranked first in his medical school class at Emory and received surgical training at the Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center under the mentorship of Dr. Arthur Voorhees, who fabricated the first synthetic vascular prosthesis and performed the first successful repair of an abdominal aortic aneurysm with a synthetic graft. After joining the Emory Faculty in 1966, Dr. Smith assisted Dr. Perdue on Georgia's first transplant.

After his tenure as chief, Dr. Smith remained on Emory's surgical faculty until he retired in 2006, serving as associate chairman of the Department of Surgery from 1991-2006 and medical director of Emory University Hospital from 1995-2006. His extramural achievements included presidential terms for the International Society for Cardiovascular Surgery-North American Chapter, the Southern Association for Vascular Surgery, the Georgia Surgical Society, and the Atlanta Vascular Society. Shortly after he retired, the Robert B. Smith, III, Visiting Professorship was inaugurated to honor Dr. Smith's many years of impressive service to his discipline and the Emory community.

Dr. Alan Lumsden

Dr. Alan Lumsden

Dr. Alan B. Lumsden was chief of the Division of Vascular Surgery from 1998-2001. A graduate of Edinburgh University, Dr. Lumsden completed his general surgical and vascular surgery training at Emory. His contributions to the Division include the expansion of the Non-Invasive Vascular Laboratory, the Venous Clinic, and the Endovascular Service. In 2002, Dr. Lumsden joined the faculty at the Baylor College of Medicine of Cardiovascular Surgery at The Methodist Hospital in Houston, Texas.

Upon Dr. Lumsden's departure, Dr. Elliot L. Chaikof became chief of the renamed Division of Vascular Surgery and Endovascular Therapy, serving until July 2010 when he left Emory to chair the Department of Surgery at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Dr. Chaikof did his general surgical training at Massachusetts General Hospital and completed MIT's PhD program in Chemical Engineering. After finishing his Emory residency in vascular surgery in 1992, he joined the faculty and became an important figure in the division's continuing shift from traditional, open procedures to minimally invasive endovascular therapy techniques. He established Emory's first program directed at the endovascular repair of abdominal and thoracic aortic aneurysms, initiating a wide range of clinical trials that were essential to the development of endovascular grafting procedures for these conditions.

Dr. Elliot Chaikof

Dr. Elliot Chaikof

By the time he was appointed chief, Dr. Chaikof's Laboratory of Bio/Molecular Engineering and Advanced Vascular Technologies was a high-profile research center at the interface of medicine and engineering, with projects in reparative medicine, organ fabrication, and the design of engineered living systems. In fiscal year 2004-2005, the NIH reported that Dr. Chaikof was awarded five RO1 grants, and by 2009 he had been the Emory PI for over 30 clinical trial protocols investigating endovascular therapies for treatment of aortic aneurysms, carotid disease, and peripheral arterial disease; novel biologics; gene therapy; and tissue engineered products.

Under Dr. Chaikof's direction, the division's clinical activities increased to the degree that clinical faculty saw more than 8,000 patients in a typical year, diagnosed more than 5,000 patients in the division's non-invasive vascular lab, and performed more than 2000 major vascular and endovascular surgeries. The division's residency program expanded as well, with the number of primary major operations performed by graduating residents being significantly higher than that of vascular surgery residents at most other programs in the U.S.

Dr. Thomas Dodson

Dr. Thomas Dodson

Dr. Thomas Dodson was chief from 2010-2015. As a medical student at the University of Alabama-Birmingham, Dr. Dodson was influenced by Dr. John W. Kirklin. After receiving his MD in 1973, he did his surgical training at Massachusetts General Hospital, his vascular surgery fellowship at Emory, and his research fellowship in surgical oncology at Brigham and Women's Hospital. Prior to coming to Emory in 1988 he was an assistant professor of surgery at Harvard Medical School and associate director of the Surgical Intensive Care Unit at New England Deaconess Hospital.

Dr. Dodson has received numerous teaching and best doctor awards, served as president of the Eastern Surgical Society from 2007-2008, president of the Georgia Surgical Society from 2011-2012 after serving as secretary-treasurer for ten years, and program director of the general surgery residency at Emory from 1997-2011.

Dr. William Jordan

Dr. William Jordan

Dr. William Jordan was appointed chief of the Division of Vascular Surgery in 2016. Upon completing his vascular surgery fellowship at Emory in 1994, where he also obtained his MD, Dr. Jordan returned to the site of his general surgery residency, the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He was appointed chief of vascular surgery at UAB in 1996, program director of the vascular surgery fellowship in 2002, and the Holt A. McDowell, Jr., Professor and Director of Vascular Surgery and Endovascular Therapy in 2007. He also initiated the integrated vascular residency in 2010. He returned to Emory in 2016 to direct the division of vascular surgery and endovascular therapy. His clinical and research interests encompass the minimally invasive treatment of aortic diseases, carotid artery diseases, and peripheral vascular diseases. Dr. Jordan's extensive involvement in clinical research includes a well-funded research portfolio.

The remaining, current Emory vascular surgery faculty are Dr. Olamide Alabi, Dr. Shipra Arya, Dr. Jaime Benarroch-Gampel, Dr. Luke Brewster, Dr. Michael Clark, Dr. Robert Crawford, Dr. Tom Dodson, Dr. Peter H'Doubler, Jr., Dr. Yazan Duwayri, Dr. Guillermo Escobar, Dr. Charles Lewinstein, Dr. Mark Mittenthal, Dr. Ravi Rajani, Dr. J. Mark Rheudasil, Dr. Atef Salam, Dr. Victoria Teodorescu, and Dr. Joseph Zarge.