Surgery in History

Historical Events

  • 1686-11-18 Charles Francois Felix operates on King Louis XIV of France's anal fistula after practising the surgery on several peasants.
  • 1809-12-25 Physician Ephraim McDowell performs the first abdominal surgery in the U.S, an ovariotomy to remove a 22 lb ovarian tumor
  • 1840-02-01 Baltimore College of Dental Surgery, 1st in US, incorporated
  • 1865-08-12 Joseph Lister performs 1st antiseptic surgery
  • 1867-03-16 First publication of an article by Joseph Lister outlining the discovery of antiseptic surgery, in The Lancet.

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1925-04-17 NY Yankee Babe Ruth has ulcer surgery

Baseball Legend Babe Ruth
Baseball Legend
Babe Ruth
  • 1925-05-26 Babe Ruth is finally out of bed, 5 weeks after ulcer surgery
  • 1935-11-12 Egas Moniz performs the first modern brain surgery on the frontal lobes to treat mental disorders, at Santa Marta Hospital in Lisbon, Portugal
  • 1944-11-29 The first surgery (on a human) to correct blue baby syndrome is performed by Alfred Blalock and Vivien Thomas.

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1975-10-13 Rock vocal Neil Young undergoes throat surgery

Singer-songwriter Neil Young
Singer-songwriter
Neil Young
  • 1983-08-15 Ramones guitarist Joey Ramone, beaten in fight-undergoes brain surgery
  • 1988-10-10 Royals announce that Dick Howser, who underwent surgery for a brain tumor in July, will return to manage the club in 1989
  • 1988-10-22 Supreme Ct Justice Sandra Day O'Connor OK after breast cancer surgery
  • 1990-04-27 Dodger Orel Hershiser undergoes career-threatening shoulder surgery

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1992-01-27 Jane Fonda undergoes arthroscopic surgery on her right knee

Actress Jane Fonda
Actress
Jane Fonda
  • 1992-04-29 Country singer Doug Stone, 35, undergoes quadruple bypass surgery
  • 1992-07-14 Actress Nell Carter undergoes brain surgery
  • 1992-09-01 Tommy Smothers undergoes arthroscopic surgery

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1993-03-05 Boston Celtic Larry Bird undergoes backfusion surgery

NBA Legend Larry Bird
NBA Legend
Larry Bird

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1993-12-07 Robert Goulet undergoes prostate cancer surgery

American Singer and Actor Robert Goulet
American Singer and Actor
Robert Goulet
  • 1994-06-01 Gen H Norman Schwarzkopf released from hospital after prostate surgery
  • 1994-09-12 Country singer George Jones undergoes triple bypass surgery
  • 1994-09-13 George Burns undergoes surgery to drain fluid from his brain

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1995-11-16 Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother undergoes hip surgery

Consort of George VI Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother
Consort of George VI
Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1997-03-14 President Clinton trips & tears up his knee requiring surgery

42nd US President Bill Clinton
42nd US President
Bill Clinton
  • 1998-02-10 Olympic figure skater Peggy Fleming undergoes breast cancer surgery
  • 2015-08-14 Most extensive face transplant surgery ever performed on Patrick Hardison by Dr. Eduardo Rodriguez at New York University Langone Medical Center

Famous Birthdays

  • 1771-11-11 Ephraim McDowell, surgeon (pioneered abdominal surgery)
  • 1827-04-05 Joseph Lister, England, physician (founded aseptic surgery)
  • 1872-11-03 Wilfred Trotter, Coleford Gloucestershire, English surgeon who was a pioneer in neurosurgery, popularized the concept of herd instinct, and was an authority in cancers of the head and neck
  • 1916-08-14 Andrew Kay, surgeon/professor of surgery (U of Glasgow)
  • 1944-11-02 Keith Emerson, English rock musician (Emerson, Lake & Palmer), born in Todmorden, West Yorkshire (d. 2016)

Famous Deaths

  • 1830-06-25 Ephraim McDowell, American Physician (pioneered abdominal surgery), dies at 58
  • 1936-08-17 Pierre-Octave Ferroud, French composer (Surgery & Foules), dies at 36
  • 1939-11-25 Wilfred Trotter, English surgeon who was a pioneer in neurosurgery, popularized the concept of herd instinct, and was an authority in cancers of the head and neck, dies at 67
  • 1960-07-15 Lawrence Mervil Tibbett, baritone, dies after surgery at 63
  • 1961-07-23 Esther Dale, actress (Birdie-Ma & Pa Kettle), dies after surgery at 75
  • 1967-01-10 Emerson Treacy, actor (Prowler), dies after surgery at 66
  • 1968-08-19 Sara Jane Roberts, child actress (Our Gang), dies after surgery at 44
  • 1969-12-07 Hugh Williams, actor (Human Monster), dies after surgery at 65
  • 1972-05-31 Walter Freeman, American physician (developer and practitioner of psychiatric surgery transorbital lobotomy), dies
  • 1976-01-10 Howlin' Wolf, singer/guitarist, dies following brain surgery at 65
  • 1982-12-08 Marty Robbins, American country singer (Devil Woman, I Walk Alone), dies of complications following cardiac surgery.at 57
  • 1983-12-08 Slim Pickins, actor (Blazing Saddles), dies after brain surgery at 64
  • 1985-05-02 Hal LeRoy, dancer/actor (Harold Teen), dies at 71 after surgery
  • 1989-03-14 Edward Abbey (environmental author), dies after surgery at 62
  • 1993-06-05 Conway Twitty, country star (Linda on My Mind), dies in surgery at 59
  • 2001-01-30 Joseph Ransohoff, the father of modern neurosurgery (b. 1915)
  • 2006-01-16 Stanley Biber, American physician, pioneer of transgender surgery, (b. 1923)
  • 2009-06-03 Koko Taylor [Cora Walton], American blues singer known as the "Queen of the Blues", dies of complications from surgery for gastrointestinal bleeding at 80
  • 2012-05-29 Doc Watson, American bluegrass musician, dies from complications following surgery at 89
  • 2013-03-06 Alvin Lee, English rocker, dies from complications from surgery at 68
  • 2013-06-18 Gene Freese, American MLB player, dies from complications of back surgery at 79
  • 2013-11-13 Todd Christensen, NFL player and sportscaster, dies from complications during liver transplant surgery at 57
  • 2013-11-26 Tony Musante, American actor, dies from complications following surgery at 77
  • 2013-12-31 James Avery, American actor, dies from complications from surgery at 68
  • 2014-01-05 Jerry Coleman, American baseball player, dies from complications from brain bleeding and surgery at 89
  • 2014-05-03 Gary Becker, American economist & Nobel laureate, dies from complications following surgery at 83
  • 2014-07-17 Henry Hartsfield Jr, American astronaut, DIES FROM complications from back surgery at 80