Rudolph Matas received his degree in medicine from the Medical Department of the University of Louisiana, now Tulane University, in 1880. In 1895 he was elected Professor of Surgery at Tulane University, a post he held until he became Emeritus Professor in 1927. He was also active as surgeon and consultant at Charity Hospital, Touro Infirmary, and the Ear, Eye, Nose and Throat Hospital - all in New Orleans - throughout a long career.
Dr. Matas was a pioneer of the first rank in the surgery of the blood vessels, chest and abdomen. His introduction of the suture for the cure of aneurysm won him international fame and caused Sir William Osler to hail him as the "Father of Vascular Surgery" and the "Modern Antyllus". His development of the intravenous drip technique, suction siphonage in abdominal operations, and other achievements, brought him signal honors from colleagues at home and in many countries abroad. Dr. Matas was selected by the Times Picayune as one of the individuals that defined New Orleans in the 20th Century.
Dr. Matas' papers are maintained by the Tulane University Manuscripts Department in Jones Hall on the uptown campus (Matas, Rudolph, 1860-1957. | Tulane University Special Collections: Manuscripts Collection 868). Rudolph Matas Library maintains the photographs, busts, portraits, diplomas and other memoribilia, including personal artifacts belonging to Dr. Matas in its historical collections. The Matas collection of medical books and journals also became part of the Matas Library's collection.
For more information on the life and times of Dr. Matas, please refer to Rudolph Matas; a biography of one of the great pioneers of surgery by Isidore Cohn, M.D., (published by Doubleday, 1960) and "1900-1909, The Warriors against Disease", Times-Picayune, Friday, December 31, 1999, Section H-3.