The Baltimore Sun


Noted heart surgeon

Dr. Stephen B. Colvin, a heart surgeon who promoted the now-widespread use of a pioneering procedure for repairing a leaky heart valve and who also performed heart surgery on children all over the world, died March 8 in Manhattan. He suffered from multiple myeloma, his brother said.

The procedure promoted by Dr. Colvin, reconstruction rather than replacement of the mitral valve, was first performed in France in the 1980s by Dr. Alain F. Carpentier. Dr. Colvin went to France to learn the technique. With its significant increase in patient survival, the technique has become standard.

Dr. Colvin, who performed nearly 10,000 operations during his 30-year career at NYU Medical Center, was also one of the first to use sternal-sparing cardiac surgery, a less-invasive technique of repairing a valve by entry between the ribs rather than through the breastbone.

Dr. Colvin and his colleague Dr. Aubrey Galloway, who is now chairman of NYU's cardiothoracic surgery department, invented the Colvin-Galloway Future Band, one of several types of prosthetic ring used to reshape a damaged mitral valve.

For many years, working through nonprofit organizations, Dr. Colvin performed heart surgery on children around the world. He was a co-founder in 2001 of Project Kids Worldwide, which has provided heart surgery for more than 50 children from China, Africa, India, South America and the Middle East.

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