Tag Archives: Surgery

Abraham Colles—giant among surgeons

Abraham Colles. Source. Abraham Colles was born in Kilkenny in Ireland in 1773. The story has it that as a boy he found an anatomy book in a field after a flood had destroyed a doctor’s house. He took the book to his owner, a Dr. Butler, who, finding he was so interested in it, […]

Thomas Keith; pioneer photographer and pioneer surgeon

Iain Macintyre Edinburgh, Scotland   Figure 1. Thomas Keith. Artist and date unknown. Etching with Keith’s signature (image reproduced with permission Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh). “His success so far outstripped that of all other operators, that it became a wonder and admiration of surgeons all over the world.”1 So wrote J Marion Sims […]

Theodor Kocher (1841-1917)

Emil Theodor Kocher. published in 1909 in Les Prix Nobel p. 66. Via Wikimedia. Theodor Kocher was the first surgeon to ever receive the Nobel Prize. He was born in 1841 in Bern, Switzerland, went to school there, and was first in his class. He studied medicine in Bern and graduated summa cum laude, then went […]

Conjoined twins: art, ethics, and the media

John Raffensperger Fort Meyers, Florida, United States   Conjoined twins have fascinated humans since earliest times. Artists illustrated twins in clay, stone statues, wood carvings, and portraits. They were exhibited on stage, in freak shows, and the circus. The worldwide news media, especially the intrusive television camera, has now replaced the circus as a means […]

Harvey Cushing: Surgeon, Author, Soldier, Historian 1869-1939

John Raffensperger Fort Meyers, Florida, United States   Harvey Williams Cushing. Photograph by W.(?)W.B. Credit: Wellcome Collection. (CC BY 4.0) Harvey Cushing was a third-generation physician, born to a family of New England Puritans who had migrated to Cleveland, Ohio, in the mid 1830s. His father and grandfather were successful physicians; family members on both […]

Samuel Solly—distinguished surgeon and educator

Arpan K. Banerjee Solihull, UK   Samuel Solly. Wood engraving, 1871. Credit: Wellcome Collection. (CC BY 4.0) Samuel Solly was born in St. Mary Axe, London, on May 13, 1805. He attended school in Walthamstow, East London, where his contemporaries included the future British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli.1 In May 1822 he became an apprentice to […]

Potts and Pott

John Raffensperger Fort Meyer, Florida, United States   Portrait of Percivall Pott by George Romney, unsigned, 1788. From the Hunterian Museum, Royal College of Surgeons, London. Source Willis Potts and Percival Pott were both highly skilled surgeons, prolific authors, and contributed to the surgical care of children.   Percival Pott (1714-1788) Percival Pott, at age […]

The surgery of pyloric stenosis in Chicago

John Raffensperger Fort Meyers, Florida, United States   Arthur Dean Bevan, MD, FACS, 1861-1943. Circa 1915. From the Archives of the American College of Surgeons.  Harald Hirschprung, a Danish pediatrician, in 1888 described the clinical course and pathology of two infants who died with congenital hypertrophic pyloric stenosis.1 Gastroenterostomy was adopted for the treatment of infants […]

The times of Gaspare Tagliacozzi, founder of plastic surgery

Portrait of Gaspare Tagliacozzi (1545-1599). 16th century. Collection Istituto Ortopedico Rizzoli, Bologna. Via Wikimedia. In his essay on Giovanni Battista Cortesi, recently reviewed in this Journal, Dr. Paolo Savoia refers to other surgeons who achieved prominence in sixteenth-century Italy. In medicine, as in the arts, progress had been abetted by an influx of Greek scholars […]

Amputations

Amputations were gruesome affairs before the advent of anesthesia. In the civilian population they would have been done mainly for ischemia, gangrene, and infections. In the image shown on the left, the man standing in the background wears a letter tau to indicate that he had suffered from St. Anthony’s fire, ergotism. He presumably has […]