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Biographical entry Sabanathan, Sabapathipillai Sabaratnam (1949 - 1997)

MRCS and FRCS 1980; MB BS Ceylon 1972; FRCS Edinburgh 1978.

29 April 1997
Cardiothoracic surgeon


Born in Ceylon in 1949, Sabanathan qualified in 1972 and, after junior posts, came to England in 1977 to specialise in surgery. He was appointed consultant cardiothoracic surgeon to the Bradford Royal Infirmary in 1989, where he developed a number of ingenious new techniques, including a method of continuous extrapleural intercostal analgesia, the use of tissue adhesive, techniques for stenting airways, preventing bronchopleural fistulae, a method for elongating the stomach for high oesophageal cancers, a rib punch to prevent pain after thorascopic surgery and single lung transplantation. He was one of the founders of the charity Lungs for Life, which raised thousands of pounds for equipment for his hospital. He wrote extensively and was an Hunterian Professor in 1994 for his work on postoperative pain.

He married Thirumani and they had two daughters, one of whom, Anetha, followed him into medicine. He died on 29 April 1997 of a myocardial infarction.

Sources used to compile this entry: [BMJ 1997 315 126, with portrait].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England