In this bonus episode, we welcome a new member to the Legends of Surgery team, Dr. David Simon, a general surgery resident at the University of Chicago currently researching surgical education at the University of Pennsylvania. He wrote this episode, which covers the history of the discovery of the adrenal glands, the efforts made to understand its function, and, of course, the pioneers who first operated on these glands. We'll also learn how some of the diseases produced by the adrenals have effected history, and in particular a famous American president, at a very inopportune time in history!
In this episode, we cover one of the most influential books in the history of surgery, the 'De Humane Corporis Fabrica', and its author, Andreas Vesalius. In doing so, we'll also explore the outsized influence of the ancient Roman physician Galen on anatomical knowledge, and the challenges Vesalius faced in shaking the yoke of tradition through empirical evidence. One of the giants of Renaissance medicine, Vesalius laid the groundwork for the modern field of anatomy, and in so doing, modern surgery as well.
In this episode, we will explore the life and impact of French surgeon Ambroise Pare, who has been described as "one of the most luminous figures in the dark period of the late sixteenth century in France". A true Renaissance man, so to speak, Pare impacted a wide range of surgical practices. But his most significant impact was felt on the battlefields of Europe, as he modernized the treatment of gunshot wounds and amputations. All that, and more, in this episode!
There are few surgical interventions more dramatic than the thoracotomy - a desperate last-ditch effort to save a failing heart by manual compression. The history of the procedure is a fascinating one, dating back to the 19th century. This became the procedure of choice when a heart stopped, typically during surgery, but was eventually replaced by what we now call CPR. The history of the development of CPR is also covered, and of course, we'll take some interesting tangents.
This episode is a bit different than previous, in that the first part is a review of the life and work of the famous cardiac surgeon Christiaan Barnard, who performed the world's first human heart transplant. The second part is an interview with cardiac surgeon Dr. David K. C. Cooper, who worked with Dr. Barnard, and wrote the definitive biography on him. We discuss Dr. Barnard, as well as the history of cardiac surgery, and even get into xenotransplantation! It was a pleasure to speak with him, and I hope you enjoy the interview as much as I did.
In this episode, we'll cover the life of English surgeon Frederick Salmon, his clashes with the medical establishment at the time, and his creation of a fistula hospital that eventually became St. Mark's Hospital. Of course, we will get into a bit of explanation around the history of fistula-in-ano treatment, and deviate from the main story to explore some other interesting historical tidbits!
In this episode, we will cover the German surgeon August Bier, and his creation of both spinal anesthesia, and the eponymously named Bier block, used commonly today for regional anesthesia. We'll also cover some less well known aspects of his career, and touch on his mentor, Johann von Esmarch, known for the Esmarch bandage (and so much more)! Of course, along the way, we'll meet up with some other players in the history of medicine and surgery. Finally, we will talk about one of Bier's greatest legacies, the Sauen forest in Germany. You'll have to listen to find out more!
In this episode, we'll cover the life of the 18th century English surgeon, Percivall Pott. This includes some of the numerous disorders named after him, and covers the first description of an association between an occupational exposure and cancer, which would lead to significant social change. And of course, we'll take some detours, including covering the origin story of the London Hospital St. Bartholomew's, and more!
In this episode, we explore the history of Robert Liston, considered "the fastest knife in the west end" of London, in an era before anesthesia. He was also famous for an operation with a 300% mortality rate, and for performing the first operation under ether in Europe. Liston also had many rivals, including a physician that led the charge during the brief and strange history of mesmerism in medicine.
In this episode, we'll cover the strange and sometimes disturbing history of psychosurgery, and in particular, the frontal lobotomy. We'll meet the Nobel Prize winning Egas Moniz as well as the physician and self-promoter Walter Freeman. And as a special bonus, we'll briefly cover the history of zombies!
In this episode, we will follow the history of the treatment of clubfoot, from antiquity, through the Renaissance and into modern surgery. Interestingly, the thinking has swung from conservative treatment, through a number of mechanical solutions, through surgical solutions, and finally come back to a non-invasive approach. As usual, we will meet some interesting characters, and in particular, cover some of the luminaries in the development of the specialty of orthopaedics!
In this episode, we will take a look at some of the unsung heroes of the operating room, going back to some of the earliest surgeries. We'll meet some of the interesting roles that developed, including Handlers, Dressers and Surgical Beadles. From there, we'll trace the development of the modern surgical technologist through the 20th century. And of course, we'll take some detours, including meeting the surgeon Frederick Treves, and his famous patient, the Elephant Man!
In this episode, we will follow the history of the repair of inguinal hernias from ancient times, through the age of dissection, to the Renaissance where we will meet the surgeons that influenced our understanding of the anatomy and pathology of hernias. From there, we will cover the first successful tissue repairs, then move on to the era of mesh repairs, and finally, cover the laparoscopic approach. Of course, we'll take a few tangents and learn some interesting facts about hernias!
In this episode, we explore the life of the English surgeon, Sir Astley Cooper, as well as some of his most notable accomplishments. Along the way, we'll cover the infamous story of his nephew, Bransby Cooper, which intersects the beginnings of the medical journal The Lancet, and represents one of the first medico-legal trials on record. Some of our detours will take us to the first carotid artery ligation, done by a naval surgeon while at sea, as well as introducing us to the pioneering vascular surgeon, Rudolph Matas. All that and more in this longer than usual episode!
In this episode, we will explore the introduction of Western style surgery into feudal Japan, during the period of isolation, that lasted from 1639 to 1853. During this time, only a few of the European powers had access to Japan, and for most of that time, it was Holland alone. The Dutch, through trade by the Dutch East Indies Company, held a monopoly on trade with Japan, and came to greatly influence their practice of surgery. Along the way, we'll meet some of these surgeons, as well as a Japanese surgeon who was able to perform major surgery on patients while they slept, a breakthrough that beat the events of the Ether Dome by more than 40 years!
Patients are often placed in the 'lithotomy' position. But where did this come from? We'll cover the history of the surgical procedure for bladder stones, known as lithotomy, which dates back from the earliest records of surgery right up to the beginnings of modern surgery. A number of different surgical approaches were used, and we'll cover their history, as well as meet some of the surgeons (and lithotomists) that had an impact on these operations.
In this episode, we'll cover R Adams Cowley, a surgeon who's single-minded determination reinvented how trauma patients are cared for, and essentially created the field of traumatology. Through his tireless efforts, the state of Maryland created a world-renowned centre for understanding and treating shock in trauma patients. He was an interesting character, to say the least. We will also explore the origins of the concepts of shock as a 'temporary pause in the act of death', and the 'golden hour', the critical window of time to treat shock patients. We'll also review the history of aeromedical evacuation, and of course, some other interesting side stories!
In this episode, we'll cover the relatively rare but interesting thoracic outlet syndrome, discussing its anatomy and causes, including cervical ribs. Along the way, we'll follow the history of the discovery of the syndrome as well as meet some famous surgeons involved in its treatment. And of course, go off on a few tangents, including the end of woolly mammoths!
In this episode, we'll cover the life and works of Dr. Friedrich Trendelenburg. Many may know the name from the "Trendelenburg position", but this German surgeon is known for so much more. We'll cover his other contributions, including his attempts to develop a surgical treatment of pulmonary embolism, and much more!
The heart lung bypass machine replaces the functions of the heart and lungs, allowing surgeons to operate on the heart. Its invention essentially created the specialty of cardiac surgery. Surgeon John Heysham Gibbon Jr. dedicated much of his career to developing this machine. This is that story.
Cochlear implants are an amazing innovation that have had a huge impact on patients. In this episode, we'll cover the history of their development, and highlight the contributions of one surgeon, Dr. William House. As well, we'll discuss some of the controversies behind the implants, and of course, take a few interesting side roads of history.
In this episode, we'll cover the creation of the laser and some of the physics behind it (don't worry, not too much!) and meet the early pioneers of laser development. The story of the first medical lasers will be covered, as well as the more commonly used types and of course, their applications in surgery!
In this episode, we'll cover the life and times of the surgeon for whom "Metz" are named for, Dr. Myron Firth Metzenbaum. We'll look at his work with radium (including some amazing background history on it), the ambulance service in Cleveland, and of course, his instrument. Dr. Metzenbaum also developed an operation and helped found the American Board of Plastic Surgery! Find out all the details in this episode.
In this episode, we will cover the brief but fascinating history of that often-overlooked specialty in the development of modern surgery, the railway surgeon. The birth, rise, and eventual demise of this particular area of practice will be explored, looking at the different roles they played, and how they influenced modern trauma surgery. And of course, we will meet a few interesting characters along the way!
In this episode, we will cover the history of the appendix, from its first description, to its (recently) described function and cover what happens when things go wrong. This includes the first recorded appendectomy, the first definitive description of appendicitis as a separate entity and some of the early surgeons who pioneered operative treatment. Finally, we'll talk about current and possible future management of appendicitis.
In this episode, we will explore the history of the development of the microscope and discuss its use in the operating room. From the very first use, to the pioneers that experimented on attaching tiny blood vessels, to modern uses, including the history of hand and face transplants will be covered!
In this episode, we'll cover the surgeon often referred to as the father of paediatric surgery, Dr. William Edwards Ladd. He has a famous connection to the Halifax Explosion, a tragic accident that occurred almost exactly 100 years ago. We'll explore that connection, and cover Ladd's work in developing the field of paediatric surgery, as well as review the eponymously named Ladd's bands and Ladd's procedure.
In this episode, we will cover the pancreatic surgery commonly known as the Whipple procedure and learn about the life and works of Dr. Allen Oldfather Whipple, the first to successfully attempt the procedure as a single-step operation. As well, we'll describe Whipple's triad, and as always, cover some other interesting medical trivia.
This episode will cover the long history of the development of the surgical stapler, an instrument not often considered in surgical history. Our journey will take us from ancient Rome, to medieval Spain, Hungary, the Soviet Union and finally the US. During our exploration, we will discuss the career of surgeon Dr. Mark Ravitch, the person most responsible for bringing stapling technology out of Russia and introducing it to Western surgical practice.
In this episode, we'll take a bit of a different approach to the history of surgery, and look at some of the insects and other creepy crawlers that have been used to assist in treating patients. We'll cover the use of leeches and maggots in surgery, both in ancient times and in modern practice, as well as some other less well known creatures that have been utilized in fascinating ways. Lots of interesting material to cover!
In this episode, we'll trace the ancient history of cataract treatments, leading to the modern revolutionary invention of the intraocular lens implant. As well, the story of Sir Harold Ridley and his inspiration for inventing this implant will be told, including the connection to WWII royal air force fighter pilots. Correction: In the podcast, the date given for joining the Royal Army Medical Corps was erroneously given as 1931. It was, in fact, 1941.
To celebrate the 50th episode of Legends of Surgery, this podcast will cover the historical connection between barbers and surgeons, and explore the reasons why, as well as discuss some of the enduring symbols of this relationship.
In this episode, we will explore the history of the surgeon considered to be the father of modern gynaecology. We'll look at his life and works, with the focus on his most recognized achievement, the development of a procedure to correct vesicovaginal fistulas. The controversy of his experimental surgery on slave women in the pre-Civil War south of the United States will be covered, and we'll take a look at some of the arguments both for and against his actions.
In this, the 50th episode, we will cover the life and works of one of the most well known legends of surgery, John Hunter. His early life working at his brother William's anatomy school, his time in the military and rise to prominence will be discussed. Of course, there will be some interesting lesser known stories about him, and a few relevant tangents, including some background on bodysnatchers in 18th century London!
In this episode, we'll cover the story of Will and Charlie Mayo, the brothers that founded what is now known as the Mayo Clinic, a global leader in surgical health care. Their origins will be covered, including the natural disaster that led to the establishment of their practice in Rochester, Minnesota. As well, we'll take a look at how they practiced, and review how their example of collaboration, dedication to patients and humility led to their success.
In this episode, we'll cover the development of the anti-reflux surgery known as the Nissen fundoplication. But there's so much more! The life of Dr. Rudolf Nissen is a fascinating one, and we'll cover his story, including his involvement with one of the most famous scientists of the 20th century, Albert Einstein.
In this episode, we'll cover the life of Baron Dominique Jean Larrey, the surgeon in chief to Napoleon's Grand Army. He created the "flying ambulance" to rapidly evacuate soldiers from the field of battle, and is credited with developing the concept of triage. Larrey was also known for his humanitarian treatment of both his own soldiers and those of the enemy, which would actually save his life. Find out how in this episode!
In this episode, we'll cover the life of the New Zealand born plastic surgeon Sir Archibald McIndoe and cover his pioneering work treating the members of the Royal Air Force that had been badly burned during the second World War. His patients found camaraderie in their mutual experience, so much so that they formed a group known as the Guinea Pig Club, which continued for 6 decades! Have a listen to this amazing story.
In this episode, we will discuss the impact of the physicians in the Arabic-Muslim Empire during a period sometimes referred to as the "Islamic Golden Age". In particular, the famous surgeon Al-Zahrawi will be covered, including his great work, the "Tasrif". We will cover the controversy over the extent of his contributions, and get into some details of his life and work.
In this episode, we'll cover the life of Dr. George Washington Crile, and American surgeon probably best known for the instruments that bear his name. We'll talk about his influential work on surgical shock, thyroid surgery and radical neck dissection as well as discuss his role in the founding of the Cleveland Clinic. There are also some interesting historical tidbits, including his role in the creation of the G-suit for pilots in World War 2!
In this second episode on Dr. Harvey Cushing, we will cover his career, starting at Johns Hopkins, his move to the Bent Brigham Hospital in Boston and experiences during World War I. His work on the pituitary gland and intracranial tumours is covered, and we'll look at his lasting legacy.
In this first of two episodes on the titan of neurosurgery, we'll look at his beginnings including his early life, medical school and training, as well as his influential trip to Europe. We'll also cover some of his early impacts on neurosurgery, and of course, take a few side trips of discovery.
In this episode, we trace the ancient history of the rhinoplasty, or nose repair, through ancient Egypt and India to Renaissance Europe and on to modern times. Along the way we'll meet some famous surgeons and learn about their contributions, as well as take a detour to find out about syphilis!
In this episode, we'll learn about the gastrointestinal surgery known as the Roux-en-Y procedure, and learn about the surgeon for whom it's named, Dr. Cesar Roux. As many people know this procedure from its use in weight loss operations, we will also take a brief look at the history of bariatric surgery and meet some of the early pioneers, as well as learn a little bit about a few of the different types of procedures.
In this episode, we will cover the life and work of Dr. Theodor Billroth, one of the great 19th century surgeons. He not only invented the famous Billroth gastric surgeries, but also was an innovator in surgical education and research. In addition, we will briefly cover his mentor Dr. Berhnard von Langenbeck, and more!
In this episode, we will track the history of women in medicine and surgery from antiquity through to modern times, taking a closer look at a few extraordinary women. From the civil war, through the suffrage movement to world war I and beyond, we will learn more about the struggle that these early pioneers went through!
In this episode, we will take a look at the history of African Americans in surgery. We'll cover some of the first black surgeons during the Civil War, and how the war led to the development of Freedmen's Hospital. Dr. Daniel Hale Williams and what is thought to be the first known successful surgery on the heart will be reviewed. Finally, Dr. Charles Drew's life and works will be covered. And much more!
In this episode, we'll cover the story of hypothermia in surgery, led by the surgeon Dr. Bill Bigelow. His experiments with animals, including groundhogs, trying to unlock the mysteries of hibernation, will also be covered. Finally, we'll learn the origins of Groundhog Day!
In this episode, we will follow the life story of Dr. William Halsted, from his origins in New York, to his drug addiction to cocaine and morphine, and his becoming one of the founding fathers of Johns Hopkins Medicine. We will cover not only his individual exploits in surgery, but also his vast influence on the turning of surgery in America from an unorganized almost self-taught job to a true profession, changing the way surgery is done and taught almost single-handedly. And of course, we'll take a few side roads, looking at the history of Johns Hopkins and cocaine, and more!
In this episode, we shift gears a bit to look at a future area of surgery, and consider what it would be like to operate in space. We will consider a number of factors that will effect operating, and look at how some of the solutions that have been created have also had positive spin off applications for the terrestrially bound. Join me as we take a peek at the final frontier!
In this episode, we'll take a look at a congenital heart defect and the multiple operations that were developed to try to treat it. Along the way, we'll meet some giants of cardiovascular surgery and learn a bit more about them!
In this episode, we will learn about the famous cardiac surgeon Dr. Alfred Blalock, and his famous work on blue babies suffering from Tetralogy of Fallot. But maybe of even greater interest is the story of his lab assistant, Vivien Thomas, a man without formal medical training but who collaborated with Blalock, helping him to develop his surgical breakthroughs. He received little credit at the time, but is now held in high esteem at Johns Hopkins.
In the second part of this 2 part series, we'll cover the surgical history of three 20th century presidents. We'll also consider how their operations impacted history, and of course, take a few detours down some side roads of history!
In the next 2 episodes, we will take a look at some of the amazing stories involving presidents being operated upon, and the circumstances and outcomes of these. In the first instalment, we'll visit some of the earlier presidents, starting with the first, George Washington!
In this episode, we take on the controversial and strange subject of cephalosomatic anastomosis, better known as a head transplant. Although never done before in humans, there is both a surgeon and a patient willing to try this in the near future! We'll take a look at the surprising history of research in this area, as well as examine the research required to make this a reality. Be warned, this episode covers some weird science!
In this episode, we learn the history of the Nobel prize, and meet the nine surgeons that have won the prestigious award, as well as describe their work. As well, we'll learn some interesting facts and stories behind the legends.
In this episode, we learn about the surgeon behind the common surgical procedure, the Graham patch. As well, we will here the story behind the discovery of the bacteria behind peptic ulcers, and meet a few other Nobel prize winners, as a prelude to Episode 28!
In this episode, we take a look at a commonly used medical device, the Foley catheter, by exploring the long and fascinating history of its development, as well as learn more about the surgeon that it was named for, Dr. Frederic Foley.
In honour of the 25th episode of Legends of Surgery, this podcast covers a bonus topic: looking at two of the patron saints of surgeons, Saints Cosmas and Damian. We cover their origin story and the miracle that is attributed to them and brought them to fame, at least in the medical world. Enjoy!
In this episode we will learn about the Canadian surgeon, Dr. Lucille Teasdale. Her tireless efforts on behalf of the Ugandan people were nothing short of heroic, but her story is not well known. It is a fascinating tale of dedication and bravery, and one worth telling.
In this episode, we will look back at how robots first entered the operating room, review the current state of surgical robots and consider possible future directions. As well, we'll find out about some of the pioneers of robotic surgery and learn about how some government agents contributed to their development!
In part two of the series, we will pick up where we left off, at the dawn of the age of laparoscopy. This episode will introduce some of the innovators that pushed forward the technology and we'll learn about some of the obstacles that they had to overcome. Finally, we will get to the present day, and set up for the third part in the series on the future of laparoscopy!
This is the first of a three part series exploring the history of laparoscopy, starting with the very earliest attempts to peer inside the human body, and leading up to the current day, with an eye to the future. This podcast will look at the evolution of endoscopy, including some of the pioneers that pushed the technology forward, and will end with the first laparoscopies performed on living patients.
In honour of Canada Day, this episode takes on a Canadian national hero, Dr. Norman Bethune. But there is more to the story, as this mercurial and controversial surgeon became famous not only for his operating ability, but his politics and involvement in some of the most significant wars of the 20th century.
Today's episode covers the Nobel prize winning surgeon Dr. Alexis Carrel, considered by many to be one of the fathers of vascular surgery and transplantation. His innovations greatly influenced these fields, but his ideology and associations during world war II cast a shadow over his legacy. His life story is a fascinating one, so have a listen!
This episode describes the works of Rene Le Fort, creator of the Le Fort classification of mid face fractures and describes the strange methods he used for his experiments. The descriptions are pretty graphic, so be warned! We also cover his uncle Leon and his contributions to surgery, along with some other interesting trivia.
This episode covers the life and works of the thoracic surgeon, Dr. Henry Heimlich, who not only created the famous maneuver that bears his name, but a number of other creations as well. He is a character not without controversy, but endlessly fascinating!
In this episode, we explore Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's inspiration for his legendary character, Sherlock Holmes, the famous Scottish surgeon Dr. Joseph Bell. We will learn about his life and character traits that were the foundation of that literary figure, as well as learn a little about Conan Doyle himself!
In honour of Nurse's Week, this episode covers the life of Florence Nightingale, with a particular focus on her impact on the British Army during the Crimean War. Come learn about the Lady with the Lamp!
In this episode, we explore the long history of the Caesarean section, find out why it really is not named after Julius Caesar, and meet some of the physicians who helped to perfect this common operation, including Dr. Hermann Pfannensteil, all in honour of Mother's Day!
In this episode, we'll learn about Dr. Henri Hartmann, thefamous French Surgeon from the late 19th century and early 20thcentury that devised a well known operation. We will also cover hislife and some other interesting facts about his work.
In this episode, we will detail the lives and discoveries of the three Krukenberg brothers, with a focus on the Krukenberg tumour and the Krakenberg procedure, and their impacts on medicine and surgery.
In this episode, we'll explore the history behind one of the most common surgical procedures done on major league baseball players, describing the first patient and his surgeon that created the operation.
For the April Fool's day edition, we explore the life story of Ferdinand Demara, one of the greatest impostors of all time, and his time posing as a naval surgeon, even operating on the high seas during a war!
In this episode, we explore the life story of the one-eyed Irish surgeon Dr. Denis Parsons Burkitt, and learn how his missionary work in Africa influenced his life and sent him down the path to make not one but two major scientific discoveries.
In this first in the series on the history of surgical instruments, we learn about William T. Bovie, the eccentric inventor behind the electrosurgery instrument that has come to be known by his name, as well as his partnership with the famous surgeon Dr. Harvey Cushing.
In this episode, we explore a little-known corner of surgical history: doctors that have operated on themselves! We review some of the known literature and describe 3 episodes of surgeons operating on themselves, as well as their life stories.
For the President's Day edition, the topic is current Republican presidential nominee Dr. Ben Carson. We explore the life and times of the famous paediatric neurosurgeon, and cover a couple of his most famous cases in detail.
Most people have heard of Dr. Joseph Lister and know his name is synonymous with antisepsis. But we dig deep into the details to understand how he came to make his great discovery, as well as learn about his other works and more about the man himself!
In this episode, we detail the life and works of Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis, and his crucial discovery of the importance of hand washing that saved countless mothers from 'childbed fever'. We also explore the difficulties he had in having his work appreciated, so much so that the term 'Semmelweis reflex' was coined.
This episode explores the events of the fateful day of October 16, 1846 at the Ether Dome in Boston, Massachusetts, as well as some of the principal characters involved. The history of early anesthesia is also described, and we discuss an agent that goes from party drug to critical medicine!
Hello everyone, and welcome to the podcast series "Legends of Surgery"! This first episode consists of an introduction to the show, my plans for it and my intent for the content. Please follow the show on Twitter and Instagram and like us on Facebook. Feel free to send us an email at LegendsofSurgery@gmail.com. I'd love to hear from you!