Years since Gibbon's first successful heart-lung machine heart surgery
May 3, 1953 American doctor John Gibbon succeeded in the world's first successful heart-lung machine heart surgery. The first successful case was a 18-year-old female named Ceceria Babolek who was diagnosed with an atrial septal defect. Sixty-eight years have passed since then, and improvements in heart-lung machines and surgical methods have made it possible to safely perform heart surgery. Today, more than 1 million heart-lung machine open heart surgeries are performed worldwide each year.