Emil Theodor Kocher

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Emil Theodor Kocher
BirthplaceBern, Switzerland
Known for Developer of Thyroid surgery

Kocher, Emil Theodor


Born Aug. 25, 1841, in Bern; died there July 27, 1917. Swiss surgeon; one of the pioneers of modern aseptic abdominal surgery.

Kocher graduated from the medical faculty of the University of Bern in 1865, having been a student of T. T. Billroth and B. Langenbeck. From 1872 to 1911 he was director of the surgical clinic of the University of Bern.

Kocher elaborated the surgical access to all of the major joints of the human body. He proposed a number of new surgical instruments (hemostatic forceps, a grooved probe for goiter operations, a glass drainage tube, stomach forceps), which now bear his name. Kocher was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1909 for his work on the surgical treatment of affections of the thyroid gland. He was an honorary member of many foreign scientific institutions and societies, including the N. I. Pirogov Russian Surgical Society.


In Russian translation:
Rukovodstvo k operativnoi khirurgii. St. Petersburg, 1898.
Uchenie o khirurgicheskikh operatsiiakh, parts 1-2. St. Petersburg, 1909-11.


Rosnovskii, A. A. “Teodor Kokher (K 50-letiiu so dnia smerti).” Khirurgiia, 1968, no. 4.
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