Thursday, April 27, 2023

The first modern brain surgery

“Trepanation” of the cranium was thought to be the first neurosurgical procedure. Its use was mainly for headaches, seizures, mental illnesses, bad spirits and traumatic brain injuries. Together with cranioplasty, it seems that they have been performed since the period of Inca, counting that head and spinal cord injuries existed since the beginning of time.

The first modern brain surgery in the United States is credited to Drs. Hirschfelder and Morse, who removed a patient’s brain tumor on February 25, 1886. The actual operative procedure recorded was performed by John Frederick Morse. Hirschfelder’s paper represents the first report in the history of America neurological surgery of an attempt to remove a tumor of the brain.

This operation followed fourteen months after the first recognized resection of a primary brain tumor in history was performed by Mr. Rickman Godless in London, England, November 25, 1884. This operation was carried out at the suggestion of Dr. A. Hughes Bennett, a neurologist at The Hospital for Epilepsy and Paralysis, Regents Park, London, England.

Early in 1887 the first well-documented total removal of an unequivocal brain tumor in America was carried out in New York City by Robert F. Weir. The patient died during the immediate postoperative period.

In the early 1900s Harvey Williams Cushing, “the father of neurosurgery,” performed the first successful operations for brain tumors.

Harvey Cushing brought modern neurosurgery into the world. Since then, neurosurgery has reached such levels of development that it may considered to be one of the most futuristic specialties of all times. In 1937 Walter Dandy performed the first aneurysm clipping.
The first modern brain surgery

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