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Theodor Kocher (1841-1917)

Theodor Kocher was born in Switzerland. The son of Jacob Alexander and Maria Kocher, He spent most of his life in Switzerland's capitol. He was at the University of Bern. He graduated in 1865. He did visit England. He was a student of Bernhard von Langenbeck in Berlin and Theodor Billroth in Vienna before being appointed Professor of Surgery in Bern in 1872 at the age of 31 years .

Kocher further contributed to medicine with his Textbook of Operative Surgery, his pioneering of ovariotomy and, especially, his application of the antiseptic techniques of Joseph Lister. He actually put down his success to Listers technique for his thyroid surgery.

He was mainly a thyroid surgeon and he performed over 2,000 thyroidectomies. Received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for discovering that the thyroid gland was an essential organ

He introduced the use of sterilised silk sutures into his surgical practice in 1882. His name is associated with a toothed surgical clamp, an atraumatic bowel clamp and a curved director. The sub-costal incision for an open cholecystectomy is called the Kocher's incision. 261