CME INDIA Presentation by ⚜ Dr. M. Gowri Sankar, MD, Senior Assistant Professor, Dept. of General Medicine, Government Medical College and ESI Hospital, Coimbatore.

Today’s History Feature:

Dr. Emil Theodor Kocher

(Aug 25, 1841 – Jul 27, 1917)

💠Swiss Surgeon

His contributions…

🔸Kocher studied medicine at the University of Bern, Switzerland and received his graduation in 1865.

🔸After completion of his studies, he visited various leading surgical clinics in Berlin, London, Paris and Vienna in order to gain surgical knowledge. Also, he was a student under Prof. Theodor Billroth.

🔸In 1872, Dr. Kocher became a Professor of Clinical Surgery at Bern and served there for around 45 years until his retirement.

🔸He did his experimental work on thyroid and subsequently, improved the thyroid surgery through his anatomical knowledge, precise operating technique and the aseptic principles defined by Sir Joseph Lister.

🔸In the year 1876, Dr. Kocher became the first surgeon to excise the thyroid for Goitre.

🔸He then declared the characteristic hypothyroid features in patients after total thyroidectomy during 1883 and named the symptoms of hypothyroidism as Cachexia Strumipriva. Ultimately, he concluded that total thyroidectomy was not indicated in benign diseases. 

🔸Furthermore, Dr. Kocher while working with Dr. Harvey Cushings performed the decompressive surgery for Cushing’s reflex.

🔸In addition, Dr. Kocher studied and published many scientific papers on hernia, traumatic epilepsy, brain damage and trepanation.

🔸He was also recognized as a Man of Discoveries. His list of eponyms is…

🔅 Kocher’s arced incision – Oblique incision for opening the knee joint.

🔅 Kocher’s incision I – Subcostal incision for cholecystectomy.

🔅 Kocher’s incision II – Transverse incision in the neck for thyroidectomy.

🔅 Kocher’s method I – Fixation of the fundus uteri to the abdominal wall.

🔅 Kocher’s method II – Invagination method for radical operation of inguinal hernia.

🔅 Kocher’s method III – Reduction method for shoulder dislocation.

🔅 Kocherisation– Operative technique in opening the duodenum to expose the ampulla of the CBD.

🔅 Kocher’s reflex – Contraction of abdominal muscles following moderate compression of the testicle.

🔅 Kocher’s sign – Eye sign in Basedow – Graves disease.

🔅 Kocher’s syndrome – Splenomegaly with or without lymphocytosis and lymphadenopathy in thyrotoxicosis.

🔅 Kocher-Debre-Semelaigne syndrome

🔅 Kocher’s craniometer

🔅 Kocher’s surgical clamp

🔅 Kocher’s tweezers

🔅 Kocher’s forceps

🔅 Kocher’s probe

🔸In the year 1912, Dr. Kocher performed around 7,000 thyroid surgeries and also reduced the thyroid surgery related mortality from 18 percent to less than 0.5 percent.

🔸Moreover, he published his experience as The Text Book of Operative Surgery in 1892.

🔸Consequently, he was honoured for his enormous contribution in thyroidology with Nobel Prize of Physiology or Medicine in 1909. Therefore, he was the first Swiss citizen and the First Surgeon, who received the Nobel Prize. Further, he donated his prize amount to Bern Institution.

🔸Eventually, he became a celebrated pioneer who taught around 10,000 medical students and became a world leader in the surgical revolution of the late nineteenth century.

A Day to Commemorate

An Outstanding and Immortal Surgeon

Dr. Emil Theodor Kocher 🙏

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