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Did you know? Know-How - Thomas FogartyPrinter-Friendly Format
Doug Engelbart
Thomas Fogarty
Ashok Gadgil
Stephanie Kwolek
Thomas Fogarty Biography Fogarty's Adherent Clot Catheter. Patents Fogarty used his fly-fishing skills to tie a glove tip to a catheter, creating the first balloon embolectomy catheter. Videos Some of Fogarty's balloon catheters. Some 20 million people have been treated with these kinds of devices. Interview
From left, Balloon Embolectomy Catheter, Thru Lumen Embolectomy Catheter, Venous Thrombectomy Catheter, Adherent Clot Catheter, Graft Thrombectomy, and Occlusion Balloon Catheter.

From left, Balloon Embolectomy Catheter, Thru Lumen Embolectomy Catheter, Venous Thrombectomy Catheter, Adherent Clot Catheter, Graft Thrombectomy Catheter, and Occlusion Balloon Catheter.
Thomas Fogarty entered medicine through the back door, or at least the supply room door. While a scrub tech at Good Samaritan Hospital in Cincinnati, he conceived and built the balloon catheter, a tool to remove clots without major surgery. Since its first use in 1961, the balloon catheter has saved or improved the lives of millions of patients.

A new device for a new kind of surgery
"I just had a natural inclination and inquisitive nature about building things," Fogarty says. "I looked at things and just naturally thought, 'Okay, how can I make this better?'" As a scrub tech, Fogarty noticed the difficulty surgeons had removing a blood clot, a 9- to 12-hour operation that often resulted in amputations or death. A solution "just came to me," the inventor and surgeon recalls. Using the fly-tying skills he had honed as a fisherman, he tied the tip of a latex glove to a catheter, which could be inflated to "drag" a clot out of the body. "I'd always tied flies and made lures and that kind of stuff. It was just a natural thing."
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Doug Engelbart Thomas Fogarty Ashok Gadgil Stephanie Kwolek Paul MacCready
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