November 2005 Newsletter: The first successful phaeochromocytoma removal

Tuesday, November 01, 2005
At the IAES Meeting in Durban in August, Jon van Heerden presented the story of Mother Joachim, the first successfully removed phaeochromocytoma in the US. Whilst a number of such tumours had been previously removed in Europe, the accurate recording and astute observations make a fascinating story. Mother Joachim was a 30 yr old nun from Ontario, Canada, and was referred to the Mayo Clinic ..Read More

July 2005 Newsletter: Non-resectional surgery for thyrotoxicosis

Friday, July 01, 2005
Cecil Joll devoted an entire chapter of his historic book to non resectional surgical treatment of thyrotoxicosis. The following are selected extracts. Thymectomy: Markham (1858) was the first to note the co-existence of enlargement of the thymus and thyroid in exophthalmic goitre. Zesas (1910) advocated removal of the thymus to the exclusion of thyroidectomy. Von Harberer treated 35 cases ..Read More

March 2005 Newsletter: The mechanism of thyrotoxicosis

Tuesday, March 01, 2005
“Exopthalmic goitre” widely known as Graves’ Disease in the English-speaking world was actually first noted by Caleb Hiller Parry in 1786. It was not until 1825 however that his account of eight patients with “enlargement of the thyroid gland in connexion with palpitation of the heart” was published posthumously. In 1835 Robert Graves described three patients with “a newly observed affectation ..Read More

October 2004 Newsletter: The first parathyroidectomy

Friday, October 01, 2004
Countless articles and references describe the first recognised successful parathyroidectomy performed by Felix Mandl in 1925 on a Viennese streetcar conductor with osteitis fibrosa cystica. However that procedure may not have been the first successful removal of a parathyroid tumour associated with symptoms of hyperparathyroidism The following extract from Sir John Bland-Sutton’s 1917 textboo ..Read More

October 2003 Newsletter: The first operation for insulinoma

Wednesday, October 01, 2003
The first described operation for insulinoma was in an orthopaedic surgeon, Dr Dickinson Ober Wheelock. Wheelock was first seen at the Mayo Clinic in 1922 with “stomach trouble” and diagnosed as chronic cholecystitis. He had previously undergone a laparotomy and gastroenterostomy in 1918 for attacks of epigastric pain and ”shock”. He returned to the Mayo Clinic in 1926 with recurrent symptoms. ..Read More

August 2003 Newsletter: The tubercle of Zuckerkandl

Friday, August 01, 2003
The tubercle of Zuckerkandl is a distinct anatomical entity that was first described by Emil Zuckerkandl in 1902. The description, and the clinical significance of the tubercle, was lost to endocrine surgeons until the last decade when the tubercle was “rediscovered” by a number of authors. Thyroid development involves the midline descent of thyroid tissue from the foramen caecum to the level  ..Read More

April 2003 Newsletter: Early pituitary surgery

Tuesday, April 01, 2003
The first pituitary operation was performed by Victor Horsley, of London, in 1889. Horsley was a general surgeon who pioneered intracranial operations. By 1913 the results of his first four craniotomies were published: all had visual field defects and headaches. One died after six hours, and the other three had serious complications, however they survived between nine months and eight years. A ..Read More

February 2003 Newsletter: History of thyroxine therapy

Monday, February 03, 2003
The function of the thyroid glands was discovered as a direct result of the effects of total thyroidectomy in man. This soon resulted in a reappraisal of the surgical approach to goitre and the preparation of an active thyroid extract for the relief of hypothyroidism. Theodore Kocher, appointed Professor of Surgery in Berne in 1872, essentially perfected the operation of thyroidectomy and was  ..Read More

June 2002 Newsletter: The rhinoceros and endocrine surgery

Monday, June 03, 2002
The Indian rhinoceros (Rhinoceros unicornis) is the international mascot of endocrine surgery. The story behind this relates to the discovery of the parathyroid glands. On 24th May 1834 the Zoological Society of London purchased its first Great Indian Rhinoceros, Rhinoceros unicornis; the commoner African Rhinoceros has two horns. It duly arrived at the Zoo and was a great attraction until it  ..Read More

April 2002 Newsletter: The function of the parathyroid glands

Monday, April 01, 2002
The first description of the role of the parathyroidas and their importance in thyroid surgery came from william halsted in 1907. He wrote: "with our present knowledge, scant as it is, of the function of the parathyroid bodies comes not only the recognition of the necessity for their preservation but more frequent occasion for operations which imperil the vitality of these little life sustaini ..Read More

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