Tribute to milton d. heifetz (1921-2015): The man behind the heifetz aneurysm clip

Fareed Jumah, Elizabeth E. Ginalis, Rachel E. Yan, Tania Atanassova, Vinayak Narayan, Gaurav Gupta, Anil Nanda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Milton Dave Heifetz (1921-2013) was a pioneer American neurosurgeon who spent the majority of his career at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in California. Heifetz greatly influenced the field of neurosurgery as an innovator, leader, and academic neurosurgeon. His redesign of the aneurysm clip addressed the long-standing issue of a fatiguing spring. Heifetz's innovation allowed the spring to maintain adequate closing force despite repetitive opening and closing. This clip was recognized as one of the most effective aneurysm clips for approximately 15 yr. While he was best known for this eponymous aneurysm clip, Heifetz also developed other various microsurgical instruments and tools for stereotactic approaches. Beyond neurosurgery, he was an influential figure and well-published author in fields such as medical ethics, philosophy, astronomy, and poetry. In 1975, he published The Right to Die: A Neurosurgeon Speaks of Death With Candor, a book which played a major role in our modern-day advanced directives. Throughout his life, Heifetz was an inspirational individual who consistently worked towards solutions to surgical and ethical problems. We present a historical vignette on his life, career, and contributions to neurosurgery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E584-E589
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


  • Aneurysm
  • Biography
  • Clip
  • Heifetz
  • History
  • Pioneer


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