It is with great sadness that we learnt of the passing away of Prof Carel Mieny former Head of Department of Surgery in School of Medicine. Professor Mieny was an UP Medial alumnus in Medicine and later specialised in General Surgery.
After qualifying with the M.B. Ch.B. degree from the University of Pretoria in 1954, he did his internship at Pretoria General Hospital. He traveled to the UK where he worked in several London hospitals. On his return to South Africa he joined the neurosurgical team in Pretoria. In 1958 he was appointed as a surgical registrar at the University of the Witwatersrand. In 1960 he was elected a Fellow of the College of Surgeons of South Africa. In 1962 he joined Professor Ian Aird's Unit at the British Post-graduate Medical School in London. During his sojourn in London he passed the F.R.C.S. examinations in London and Edinburgh. On his return to South Africa he was appointed as senior surgeon in the professorial unit at the Johannesburg General Hospital. In 1966 he received the Ch.M. degree for a thesis entitled 'The effects of arterial occlusion on atheroma'.
In 1966 Carl Mieny left for Lexington, Kentucky on a research grant from the John Hartford foundation, to work in the Department of Professor Ben Eiseman in the field of liver perfusion. In 1967 Professor Eiseman moved to Denver, Colorado, where Mieny shared in the experience of the first successful liver transplant in the USA, performed by Dr Thomas Starzl. Based on the research, which was done in Denver, a thesis entitle 'Eksperimentele voorbereiding vir kliniese leweroorplanting' was submitted to the University of Pretoria as a partial fulfilment of the M.D. degree.
On his return to Johannesburg Professor Mieny was promoted to Professor of Surgery at the University of the Witwatersrand and principle surgeon at the J.G. Strydom Hospital in Auckland Park.
Professor Mieny embarked on several overseas visits. In 1971 he visited Bonn and Munich to aid in the research grant from the Alexander von Humbolt Foundation. In 1974 he visited the UK with the aid of a grant from the Ernest Oppenheimer Trust. Between 1969 and 1976 he presented papers at four international congresses in the UK and USA.
Professor Mieny was appointed Professor and Head of the Department of Surgery and chief surgeon at the H.F. Verwoerd Hospital in 1977.
During his term as Chairman of the Department of Surgery in Pretoria he organised the first symposium on Controversies in Surgery in 1981. This meeting has now become an annual event in the surgical calendar.
In 1982 he arranged the first Registrar Symposium with the support of Ethicon. This meeting has also now assumed major importance in registrar training.
During his tenure and under his guidance a liver transplant programme was established in Pretoria.
Professor Mieny was a dedicated teacher and taught several generations of students and specialist surgeons during a long academic career. He published an undergraduate textbook that was used by students for many years.
Professor Mieny played an important role in the administration of Surgery training in South Africa by his election to several senior posts in the College of Medicine of South Africa as well as the College of Surgeons. He also held at various time the presidency of several professional societies such as Surgery, Gastroenterology and Organ Transplantation.
Professor Mieny stepped down as chairman of the Department in 1992 but continued as a full-time surgeon.
Our sincere condolences to his wife and family. May his soul rest in peace.