Dr. George Green began his career in cardiothoracic surgery at the New York University Medical Center and was recruited by the St. Luke's Cardiothoracic Surgery Department in the late 1960's. Centers across the nation were searching for a surgical treatment to life-threatening coronary artery disease.
In 1965 Dr Green started his clinical assessment of using the internal thoracic artery to anastomose to distal LAD segments. He understood that only by connecting the artery to the small segments already past the proximal occlusions, could a patient achieve such benefit.
His contemporaries were skeptical. Despite impressive clinical data the surgery was thought to be too technically difficult. Dr. Green knew that by using a microscope he could sew arterial anastomoses as small as 1mm, smaller than thought clinically feasible. This new direct anastomosis allowed immediate benefit and could be implemented on sicker, more acute patients.
By 1969 several centers were performing coronary bypass surgery however only with saphenous vein bypass grafts. Despite criticism, Dr. Green continued with his use of the ITA as angiography invariably showed vein graft occlusion in patients with recurrent angina. He also specialized in left-sided anastomoses, an area thought too dangerous by other surgeons.
Dr. Green was one of two cardiothoracic surgeons capable of this procedure in the early 1970's. Dr. Green continued with this difficult anastomosis through the mid 1970's where he had performed more bypasses alone than other leading cardiac centers. In 1981 Dr Julio Sosa demonstrated that 94% of Dr. Green's ITA grafts were widely patent while only half of the vein grafts typically remained open. This data was finally accepted by the American Association for Thoracic Surgery in 1983. In 1985 Carmeron collated the fifteen years of data and demonstrated a highly significant advantage to those patients's who had received Green's pioneering anastomosis.
Dr. Green would lead the St. Luke's Roosevelt Hospital Cardiothoracic Department and faculty into becoming one of the premiere cardiac programs in the world. During his time, they were performing greater than 1500 bypass per year
George Green, MD was featured in a Time Magazine article for his pioneering work at St. Luke's Hospital during the development of the CABG procedure