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Heart Transplants: Dick Cheney And The History Of The Procedure

Posted: 03/26/2012 3:40 pm

Dick Cheney's heart transplant at age 71 has left many wondering if the former Vice President was too old to undergo the procedure.

Often, hospitals limit transplants to patients who are 65 or younger, according to Reuters. But Cheney's 20-month wait attests to the fact that more people at advanced ages are receiving care once reserved for younger patients.

That wouldn’t be possible without decades of research, experimentation and advancements in both the medicine and technology involved in a heart transplant, a procedure that was only a glimmer of an idea 100 years ago.

Here's a look at some of the most noted moments in heart transplant history over the past century.

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Alexis Carrel, known as the father of transplant surgery, wins the Nobel Prize in Medicine and Physiology for his research dating back to the late 1890s into the movement of organs.

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Filed by Sarah Klein  |