Senning [left], Elmqvist & Crafoord, 1954.
|Born||14 September 1915
|Died||21 July 2000
|Known for||Implanting the first pacemaker
University Hospital Zurich
Åke Senning (14 September 1915 — 21 July 2000) was a pioneering Swedish cardiac surgeon, who implanted the first human implantable cardiac pacemaker in 1958, invented the Senning operation, and contributed to many other advances.
Senning was influenced to become a cardiovascular surgeon when during his training, he heard of Clarence Crafoord's operations to repair coarctation of the aorta. He trained under Crafoord from 1948 to 1956 in Sabbatsberg Hospital, where he and the doctor turned engineer Rune Elmqvist developed the first totally implantable pacemaker. From 1956, Senning led the Department of Experimental Surgery at Karolinska Hospital. In 1957 Senning performed the first repair of a common congenital heart malformation called transposition of the great arteries or TGA. He made history on October 8, 1958 by implanting the first pacemaker. Although this first device lasted only a few hours, it proved the feasibility of the procedure and opened the way to a new field in the area of device therapy. In 1961, Senning became head of the Department of Surgery at the University of Zurich and in 1969 he performed the first heart transplant in Switzerland. He retired in 1985 and died in 2000 at the age of 84.
 a biography and interviews from the Heart Rhythm Society
- Konstantinov, Igor E.; Alexi-Meskishvili, Vladimir V.; Williams, William G.; Freedom, Robert M.; Van Praagh, Richard (2004), "Atrial switch operation: past, present, and future" (PDF), The Annals of Thoracic Surgery 77 (6): 2250–2258, doi:10.1016/j.athoracsur.2003.10.018, PMID 15172322
- Cooley, D.A (2000), "In Memoriam: Tribute to Åke Senning, Pioneering Cardiovascular Surgeon", Texas Heart Institute Journal 27 (3): 234–5, PMC 101071, PMID 11225587