Tag Archives: Surgery

The adenoid riots of 1906

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   Sagittal section of nose mouth, pharynx, and larynx showing the adenoids, or pharyngeal tonsils (in green). Not to be confused with the tonsils in the back of the throat. From Grays Anatomy, 20th edition. Bartleby via Wikimedia. Public domain. On June 28, 1906, thousands of Eastern European Jewish women surrounded […]

Movie review: Bisturi: La Mafia Bianca

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   Surgeons operating aboard the USS Harry S. Truman. US Navy photo via Wikimedia. Public domain. “Medicine is power. It makes us giants.” – Dr. Daniele Valotti in Bisturi: La Mafia Bianca   Bisturi: La Mafia Bianca (1973) is an understated, well-acted, and critical “doctor movie.” Unlike The Hospital, it is […]

On becoming a disabled physician

Mel Ebeling Birmingham, Alabama, United States   Hephaestus at the Forge. Sculpture by Guillaume Coustou the Younger, 1742. Musée du Louvre, Paris. Photo by Marie-Lan Nguyen (Jastrow) on Wikimedia. Public domain. The same prominent scar blemishes each foot: beginning two inches below my big toe, it slithers along the medial aspect of my foot, making […]

Book review: The Facemaker: One Surgeon’s Battle to Mend the Disfigured Soldiers of World War I

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   Facsimile of a wax teaching model made by Sergeant Thomas H. Kelsey for the New Zealand Medical Corps facial and jaw injury unit, c. 1917. British National Army Museum Copyright, released under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 license. “A chirurgien should have…the harte of a lyin…the eyes of a hawke…[and] the hands […]

Orthoses, prostheses, and splints

JMS Pearce Hull, England   These common words are sometimes confused. Orthosis is a term first used in English in 1857, from the Greek ὄρθωσις—“making straight.” It is a device that supports or assists residual function after illness or injury. Prosthesis is a Latin word derived from the ancient Greek πρόσθεσις, meaning “addition.” Like many […]

Walter Edward Dandy

JMS Pearce Hull, England   Figure 1. Walter Edward Dandy (left) and Harvey Cushing (right). Dandy from Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions Portrait Collection.2 In the history of American neurosurgery, two names stand out from the rest: Harvey Cushing (1869–1939) and Walter Edward Dandy (1886–1946). Sadly, they were inveterate rivals. Dandy was undoubtedly a brilliant pioneer […]

“What’s a soul?”: Richard Selzer finds the spirit in the flesh

Mahala Stripling Fort Worth, Texas, United States   Richard Selzer at the Elizabethan Club, 2004. Photo courtesy James L. Stripling. When he was a child, Dickie Selzer asked his father, “What’s a soul?” Julius replied, “No such thing.” When his inquisitive son pressed him further, he gave this answer: “Oh, a little bag of air, […]

Early surgery of meningocele

JMS Pearce Hull, England   Figure 1. Spinal dysraphism. c. AD 200. From Goodrich, J.T.1 A variety of dysraphic states, recorded since antiquity, (Fig 1)1 are caused by the failed closure of the neural tube during the fourth week of embryonic life. They include hydrocephalus, Chiari malformations, and various types of spina bifida with meningocele […]

Arthur William Mayo-Robson

JMS Pearce Hull, England, United Kingdom   Figure 1. Arthur William Mayo-Robson. Photogravure. Wellcome Images via Wikimedia. Public domain. Arthur William Robson (1853–1933) (Fig 1) was born the son of a chemist John Bonnington Robson, in Filey, a popular Yorkshire seaside resort.1 He later added Mayo to his surname. He is reported as attending Wesley […]

The appendicitis conundrum

Jayant Radhakrishnan Nathaniel Koo Darien, Illinois, United States   Lorenz Heister (1683–1758) was a German surgeon and anatomist. In 1711, he described acute appendicitis in great detail and suggested that it be treated. From Institutiones chirurgicae, in quibus quicquid ad rem chirurgicam pertinet optima et novissima ratione pertractatur, Neapel, Antonio Cervone, 1749. Via Wikimedia. No […]