The extirpation of the thyroid gland

The extirpation of the thyroid gland - The extirpation of...

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The extirpation of the thyroid gland…typifies, perhaps better than any operation, the supreme triumph of the surgeon's art. ... A feat which today can be accomplished by any competent operator without danger of mishap and which was conceived more than one thousand years ago. ... There are operations today more delicate and perhaps more difficult. ... But is there any operative problem propounded so long ago and attacked by so many…which has yielded results as bountiful and so adequate? Dr. William S. Halsted, 1920 Modern thyroid surgery, as we know it today, began in the 1860s in Vienna with the school of Billroth.1 The mortality associated with thyroidectomy was high, recurrent laryngeal nerve injuries were common, and tetany was thought to be caused by “hysteria.” The parathyroid glands in humans were not discovered until 1880 by Sandstrom, 2 and the fact that hypocalcemia was the definitive cause of tetany was not wholly accepted until several decades into the twentieth century. Kocher,
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The extirpation of the thyroid gland - The extirpation of...

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