C. Walton and Richard C. Lillehei Surgical Society

A nonprofit organization

1 donor

Be part of the Cardiothoracic Surgery Legacy!

Dr. C. Walton Lillehei is world-renowned as the "Father of Open-Heart Surgery." He performed the World's First Open-Heart Operation, using Cross-Circulation in 1954. In 1958, Lillehei was responsible for the World's First Use of a Small, Portable, Battery-Powered Pacemaker, invented by Earl Bakken (a University of Minnesota employee who later founded Medtronic). Lillehei also developed and implanted the World's First Prosthetic Heart Valves: the Lillehei-Nakib toroidal disc (1966), the Lillehei-Kaster pivoting disc (1967), and the Kalke-Lillehei rigid bileaflet prosthesis (1968).

His brother Dr. Richard C. Lillehei participated in the world's first successful transplant of a pancreas and the first known human transplant of the small and large intestines. He did pioneering work in shock treatment, organ preservation, open-heart surgery and kidney transplants. He was known by his colleagues and students for his affability, varied medical talents and devotion to his work.

The C. Walton and Richard C. Lillehei Surgical Society continues the spirit of innovation that drove these two brothers. The Lillehei Surgical Society continues to connect, celebrate, and inspire Cardiothoracic surgery and its Biomedical Device Partners to advance the future of medicine. 

Please donate to the future of medicine! 
A donation of $100 or more will add you to our Quarterly Newsletter and Annual Reception mailing list. 

Organization Data


Organization name

C. Walton and Richard C. Lillehei Surgical Society

Tax id (EIN)



Education Health Science, Tech & Business


1660 Highway 100 South Suite 500
Saint Louis Park, MN 55416


(952) 921-3399

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