surgery | Hektoen International

Sir James Paget

Born in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, in 1814, James Paget was one of the outstanding surgeons of his time, remembered for his description of osteitis deformans (Paget’s disease of bone) and of Paget’s disease of the breast. He has been regarded as the surgical equivalent of  William Osler in medical education and of Rudolph Virchow in […]

A one-millimeter push revolutionizes ear surgery: the story of Samuel Rosen and surgery of the stapes bone

Mahmood Bhutta Royal National Throat Nose and Ear Hospital, London (Summer 2016)   Figure 1: Otosclerosis fixing the stapes bone in the middle ear  In 1952 Dr. Samuel Rosen gently pushed the stapes of a man on whose ear he was operating.1 The stapes is the smallest bone in the body and the last of the […]

Think like a surgeon

Violet Kieu Melbourne, Australia (Winter 2016)   Surgeons operating at Cho Ray Hospital, Saigon, Vietnam Photography by Violet Kieu I was on a quest to become a surgeon. Now I am simply on a quest to survive surgical training. Getting into surgery was the easier part. Getting through, in comparison, is now the challenge. The […]

Locard’s principle and the surgeon

Sukanya Sam Chennai, India (Winter 2016) It is near-most bliss, a somber quietitude, from the moment the surgeon scrubs, which takes about ten minutes, soaping up past his elbows, calmly lathering up, fingers interlocking and then not, covering every inch and then rinsing with saline—holding up his hands methodically, allowing the liquid to fall sequentially […]

Christiaan Barnard

Shameemah Abrahams University of Cape Town, South Africa (Summer 2014)   Dr. Christiaan Barnard The year 1945 is iconic as the end of one of the most pivotal and devastating periods in human history – World War II. That same year, as the world began to rebuild, in the coastal city of Cape Town at […]

Sushruta: the ancient Indian surgeon

Satish Saroshe Assistant Professor, Department of Community Medicine M.G.M Medical College, Indore, India (Winter 2016)   Through all of Sushruta’s flowery language, incantations and irrelevancies, there shines the unmistakable picture of a great surgeon. Undaunted by his failures, unimpressed by his successes, he sought the truth unceasingly and passed it on to those who followed. […]

Rhinoplasty and the roosari from ancient Persia to modern day Iran

Ryan B. Cohen Boston, MA (Summer 2016)   Image of a modern Iranian woman veiled by a Roosari covering the nose “Roosari” is the Farsi term used for a head-covering. The famed Iranian veil is the most conspicuous feature of a modern Iranian woman’s ensemble. Yet, wearing the Roosari was not always the norm. Only […]

JB Murphy: Chicago’s great but controversial surgeon,

Patrick D. Guinan, and George Dunea Chicago, Illinois (Summer 2016)   John Benjamin Murphy, Wellcome Library, London The grand surgical auditorium of the American College of Surgeons in Chicago still bears the name of JB Murphy, the tall, slim, blue-eyed boy from Appleton, Wisconsin, born in 1857 on a farm into an Irish family that escaped […]

It takes a team

Michael Marwan Meguid Syracuse, NY  (Summer 2016)   I saw two bright colored polaroids: One pictured Rudolph, a burly coal miner with a white bandage about his left ankle. The second was a close-up showing a four-inch long festering ulcer overlying his Achilles tendon. Its crater floor appeared necrotic, slimy, and green. The margins looked […]

The colors of pride

Michael Marwan Meguid Marco Island, Florida (Summer 2016)   In fragmented pieces, revealed casually and interspersed with daily political news, Zan gradually painted his life as a gentleman farmer in Orange County. In a moment of bravado he said, “I’ve had it for so many years and it hasn’t bothered me, it’ll probably be all […]