In 1967, the first cardiac transplantation was performed in South Africa by Christiaan Barnard, becoming one of the most pioneering events of the human history, comparable to the first step on the moon, 2 years later. Even if Barnard became extremely famous because of this outstanding operation, behind this event there were years and years of studies, experimentations and hard work done by others, in particular by Lower and Shumway. The initial technique, still called ‘standard technique’ is the biatrial one. In the late 1980s, alternatives like the ‘bicaval technique’ were developed in order to get a more anatomical result. In the present chapter, we will throw the reader into the early years of the cardiac transplantation era, describing all the efforts made by the “fathers” of the cardiac surgery in order to standardize techniques inherited by the modern surgeons. Afterwards, we will present a review of the literature to answer the question if the biatrial technique should still be called “standard technique”.
Part of the book: Heart Transplantation