The head of the Hospiten Rambla Cardiovascular Surgery Service, Dr. Rafael Llorens Leon received the XXI Century National Medicine Award for Cardiovascular Surgery. The award is in recognition of his work in medicine, science and education.
Dr. Llorens accepted the award at a gala held in Madrid in April and expressed his gratitude to his family “for all the long absences, hours of work, missed vacations…”.
He also gave a special mention to the rest of his team, “who work in the shadows, without receiving awards, but without whom we would not achieve the results we get in this type of surgery”.
He also spoke of his patients, who he thanked for their trust in “letting him into their hearts”.
Dr. Llorens graduated in Medicine and Surgery at the University of Navarra and completed his postgraduate degree at the same university receiving the distinction of extraordinary prize. He completed various courses and practice in heart surgery at the University of Navarra, the Broussais Hospital in Paris, the Loyola University Hospital in Chicago and at the University Hospital of Pittsburg. Throughout his career he has combined medical practice with teaching and is a professor at the University of Navarra.
Since 1966, Dr. Llorens has held the position of head of Cardiovascular Surgery at Hospiten Rambla. The hospital has long been at the forefront of cardiac surgical techniques using mammary artery grafts, OPCAB (off-pump coronary artery bypass) - carrying out over 3,000 interventions using this technique, coronary artery bypass grafting using thoracic epidural anesthesia in the awake patient, mitral and aortic valve repair, minimal access surgery, endovascular repair in the thoracic and abdominal aorta and so on.
Dr. Llorens pioneered Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting (CABG) with mechanical anastomosis and thoracic epidural anesthesia in Spain in 2014. He is a member of the leading Spanish and international scientific societies and of the Royal Academy of Medicine in Tenerife.
Author and co-author of more than 110 papers published in national journals, 51 papers published internationally and 6 books, he has also made 217 communications and presentations and more than a dozen conferences.
In 2002, Dr. Llorens led a team of 12 in the first successful intervention in Spain implanting a pig’s aorta in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, replacing the aortic valve and upper part of the aorta and connecting the coronary arteries to the porcine bio-prosthesis.