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Legends of Surgery

Legends of Surgery is a podcast that tells the stories of the people and events that make up the history of modern surgery, told in an informal, entertaining and educational manner.
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Legends of Surgery
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Now displaying: Page 2
May 11, 2018

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!

Apr 28, 2018

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!

Apr 8, 2018

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!

Mar 25, 2018

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.

Mar 9, 2018

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. 

Feb 25, 2018

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!

Feb 9, 2018

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. 

Jan 28, 2018

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!

Jan 12, 2018

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.

Dec 16, 2017

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!

Dec 1, 2017

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.

Nov 17, 2017

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.

Nov 4, 2017

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.

Oct 20, 2017

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!

Oct 6, 2017

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.

Oct 4, 2017

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.

Sep 22, 2017

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. 

Sep 8, 2017

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!

Aug 25, 2017

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.

Jul 28, 2017

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.

Jul 14, 2017

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!

Jun 30, 2017

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. 

Jun 16, 2017

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.

Jun 3, 2017

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!

May 19, 2017

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. 

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