Theodor Kocher (1841-1917) and his outstanding contributions to surgery

  • Rafael Romero-Reveron Universidad Central de Venezuela, Departamento de Anatomía Humana, escuela de Medicina José María Vargas, Facultad de Medicina; Sociedad Venezolana de Historia de la Medicina.
Keywords: Emil Theodor Kocher, Thyroidectomy/history, Nobel Prize, History, 19th Century, History, 20th Century, Switzerland


Theodor Kocher (1841-1917), an exceptional Swiss surgeon who described a technique for the safe removal of enlarged thyroid unraveled the true function of this endocrine gland but also made significant contributions to many other fields of surgery. Kocher was the first surgeon awarded the Nobel prize in Physiology and Medicine in 1909 for his work on the physiology, pathology, and surgery of the thyroid gland. He was  professor and clinical director at Insel Hospital during 45 years. Kocher created the prominent Surgeon's School in Bern. He was the first president of the International Society of Surgery in 1903 and the founding president of the Swiss Society of Surgery in 1913.


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Romero-Reveron R. Theodor Kocher (1841-1917) and his outstanding contributions to surgery. Acta Med Peru [Internet]. 2023Nov.14 [cited 2024Apr.17];40(3). Available from: