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Biographical entry Valdoni, Pietro (1900 - 1976)

Hon FRCS 1962; MD Rome 1924.

22 February 1900
23 November 1976
General surgeon


Pietro Valdoni was born in Trieste on 22 February 1900. In 1924 he obtained his MD at Rome University and received his surgical training under Professors Silvio Crainz and Roberto Alessandri, serving with the latter as his pupil and later as first assistant in the department of surgery from 1924 to 1938. Subsequently he was Professor of Surgery at the Universities of Cagliari 1938-39, Modena 1939-40, Florence 1940-46 and Rome from 1946 until his retirement in 1970.

Valdoni was one of the leading Italian surgeons of his day. In 1934 he published an account of one of the earliest successful cases of pulmonary embolectomy using the Trendelenburg technique and in 1940 he reported the first case in Europe of ligation of the ductus arteriosus. Apart from the surgical treatment of congenital cardiovascular anomalies he studied problems of portal hypertension and rectocolic resection. He was the author of many papers on surgical subjects and his Manuali de chirurgia, first published in 1946, went into several editions and his atlas Chirurgia addominale; tecniche operatorie was published in 1974. For some years he was the editor of the surgery section of Il Policlinico and in 1947 he founded the Archivio di chirurgia toracica & cardio-vascolaire.

His international reputation was recognised with many honours. In 1965 he was elected President of the Société Internationale de Chirurgie and at other times he was variously President of the Italian Society of Thoracic Surgery and the Medical Academy of Rome. Among many others he received honorary Fellowships of the Royal College of Surgeons of England, of the American College of Surgeons and of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, and was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Aix-Marseille University and a Mastership of Surgery of the University of Dublin.

In 1930 he married Rita, daughter of Professor de Grisogona of Trieste, by whom he had two sons and three daughters. His first wife died in 1963 and he re-married in 1968. He died on 23 November 1976 of an inoperable cancer of the lung after experiencing a long and painful illness.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Information from Professor F Crainz].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England