5 Most important Surgeons throughout History

Category: Spine Surgery | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: March 11, 2014

joseph listerSurgeons usually don’t reach rock star levels of fame, even if they save lives on a daily basis. However, there are a number of surgeons whose contributions to medical science were so great that history will never forget them. Here are 5 of the most famous surgeons throughout history.

John Hunter (1728 – 1793)

Hunter is famous for approaching surgical procedures with the scientific method in mind. He believed that observation was necessary during surgery in order to determine the best course of action for each patient. In other words, each patient’s needs are different and surgery must be amended accordingly.

Dominique Larrey (1766 – 1842)

Considered one of the founders of military surgery, Dominique Larrey was a surgeon during the Napoleonic era in France. Larrey joined the French navy in 1786 and eventually became surgeon-in-chief to the entire French Navy. He served in over 60 battles.

Joseph Lister (1826 – 1912)

Lister introduced the concept of sterilization to surgery. Back in the day, people thought that diseases and infections were the result of bad air. Lister began sterilizing surgical tools and wounds, which resulted in fewer infections during and after surgery.

John Heysham Gibbon (1903 – 1973)

Gibbon’s techniques and innovations revamped surgical procedures of the heart as we know them today. Gibbon was the first person to perform open-heart surgery. He was also the inventer of the heart-lung machine.

Lars Leksell (1907 – 1986) 

Leksell invented the first fully functioning stereotactic apparatus for use in human neurosurgery. As a result he is considered one of the preeminent innovators of modern neurosurgery.

Without these surgeons, the medical world would not be what it is today. Their contributions to science and surgery are truly indispensable. All surgeons who practice today (as well as the patients on which the operate) owe them a debt of gratitude.

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