Edward L. Bove didn't know he was hitting a major milestone this spring, but the world-renowned pediatric cardiac surgeon performed his 10,000th surgery on March 27 at the University of Michigan's C.S. Mott Children's Hospital.
At the time, Bove, M.D., was not aware of the significance of that procedure, which was an aortic valve replacement. But later a departmental administrator was going over some paperwork and noted the 10,000th milestone.
"It's pretty remarkable. You don't go through your days counting up the procedures, so I was surprised," says Bove, who learned of the milestone at a surprise party organized by his colleagues and staff.
"When I heard that, I thought that's really a lot. But this is what I always wanted to do. I don't think of this as a job. It's a privilege."
On Saturday, at the biennial reunion for all University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children's Congenital Heart Center patients, Bove was honored by his patients, staff and colleagues. More than 900 registered to attend the "We Got the Beat" event, most of them patients of Bove and his colleagues in the U-M Congenital Heart Program.
Bove also is the Helen F. and Marvin M. Kirsh professor of cardiac surgery at the University of Michigan and is the first chair of the U-M Department of Cardiac Surgery, a department established this year.
C.S. Mott Children's Hospital recently was ranked fourth in the nation for pediatric heart surgery according to U.S. News & World Report's 2012-13 Best Children's Hospitals rankings.
C.S. Mott's Congenital Heart Center performs over 850 cardiac operations each year -- from the most common to the most complex. As an international referral center for children with complex congenital heart problems, U-M has one of the largest congenital heart programs in the United States.
Bove has much to do with the success of that program. He joined the faculty at U-M in 1985, after completing residencies with the U-M Medical School in 1976 and 1977. At U-M, along with touching thousands of families, he's trained more than 36 surgeons to follow in his footsteps.
"That Dr. Bove has performed his 10,000th case at the C. S. Mott Children's Hospital at the University of Michigan is not only an incredible accomplishment for an individual surgeon, but it is amazing to think about all of the children that have benefited over the years from Dr. Bove's remarkable skills," says Richard G. Ohye, M.D., Head, Section of Pediatric Cardiovascular Surgery at C.S. Mott Children's Hospital.