Below are brief notes on some famous - and eponymous - names in surgery & urology
Albarran (Albarran lever)
Joaquin Maria Albarran y Dominguez (1860-1912) was born in Cuba but worked in Paris. He modified a device originally designed by Armand Imbert, still used today, and known as the Albarran lever ... more information
Alcock (Alcock's canal)
Canal for the internal pudendal vessels and nerve in the ischiorectal fossa. Benjamin Alcock was the first Professor of Anatomy and Physiology at Queen's College Cork. He was born in Kilkenny in 1801 and educated in Dublin, studying Anatomy in Trinity College. He graduated with a BA in 1821 and 1825 obtained the diploma of LRCSI. In 1827 he was awarded the degree of MB at Dublin University and was elected MRCSI in the same year. In 1837 became Professor of Anatomy, Physiology and Pathology in the newly opened School of the Apothecaries' Hall Cecilia Street Dublin. Alcock was appointed Professor of Anatomy and Physiology in Queen's College Cork in 1849. Alcock held his Chair in Cork for only a few years. His professorship was eventful and turbulent; finally, due to a number of disputes, he was forced to resign in 1854 ... more information
Alport (Alport's syndrome)
Arthur Cecil Alport MD (1880 – 1959) was a South African physician who first identified Alport's syndrome in a British family in 1927. The syndrome is an X-linked, hereditary nephritis with nerve deafness, haematuria and a family history of males progressing to end stage renal disease ... more information
Anderson (Anderson - Hynes pyeloplasty)
James C Anderson (1899 - 1984) was a Consultant Urologist in Sheffield. Wilfred Hynes (1903 - 1991) was a Consultant Plastic Surgeon, also in Sheffield. Hynes devised a plastic procedure designed, originally, to correct a retrocaval ureter. The pelviureteric junction was divided (dismembered), moved in front of any aberrant vessels and reconstructed. The procedure subsequently became the standard open procedure for treating PUJ obstruction
Avicenna (Avicenna's Canon)
Avicenna (980-1037) wrote the "Canon of Medicine" which combined the ideas of Hippocrates, Galen and the Muslims with contemporary medical practice ... more information
Bonney (Bonney's test)
Elevation of the bladder neck during vaginal examination reduces leakage of urine during coughing (used to diagnose stress incontinence). William Bonney (1872–1953) studied at Barts and The Middlesex Hospitals and was on the staff of the Royal Masonic Hospital and The Chelsea Hospital for Women. A highly skilled surgeon with an international reputation.
Bowen (Bowen's disease)
John Templeton Bowen (1857 - 1940) was an American dermatologist. He qualified from Harvard Medical School and was Chief of Dermatology at Massachusetts General Hospital. Several conditions bear his name but Bowen's disease itself is carcinoma in situ of the penis.
Bowman (Bowman's capsule)
Sir William Bowman (1816 – 1892) was surgeon to Birmingham General Hospital. Elected FRS in 1841 and FRCS 1844, he won the Royal Medal of the Royal Society for his description of the Malpihgian body of the kidney. He proposed the theory of urine production by filtration of plasma. Described as the father of histology, in 1846, became surgeon to Moorfields Eye Hospital. An early proponent of the ophthalmoscope and the first in England to treat glaucoma by iridectomy (1862). Bowman's capsule is the epithelial lined "cup" surrounding the glomerulus in the kidney ... more information
Calmette (Bacille Calmette–Guerin)
Leon Charles Albert Calmette (1863–1933) was a pupil of Pasteur in Paris, later becoming first director of the Pasteur Institute. Camille Guerin (1872 1961) was a veterinary surgeon at the Calmette Institute in Lille who, along with Calmette, developed BCG vaccine. BCG (Bacille Calmette–Guerin) is an attenuated TB bacillus used for immunotherapy of carcinoma in situ of bladder.
Camper (Camper’s fascia)
Pieter Camper (1722–1789). Physician and anatomist in Leyden, The Netherlands. He described Camper’s fascia, a layer of fascia in the abdomen and inguinal region. Camper’s fascia is a thick, superficial layer of the anterior abdominal wall. It is superficial to the more membranous, inner layer, Scarpa's fascia. Camper's fascia is continuous inferiorly with the superficial fascia of the thigh. Medial and inferior to the pubic tubercle, it changes as it continues over the scrotum to form the dartos tunic ... more information
Canny Ryall (Canny Ryall dilators)
Edwin Canny Ryall (1865 - 1934) was an Irish urologist who founded All Saints' Hospital. Canny Ryall's double-ended urethral dilators were later modified by Richard Turner Warwick. Among other instruments he introduced a very handy double ended retractor, still used today ... more information
Charrière (Charrière [Ch] or French gauge [FG])
The Charrière system is a system of measurement for "sizing" catheters and stents. The number represents the circumference of the instrument in millimetres. Joseph Frédéric Benôit Charrière (1803 – 1876) was a famous Parisian master cutler and surgical instrument maker. Charrière was born in Cerniat in Switzerland but moved to Paris as an apprentice to a cutler. He soon became recognized as an excellent surgical instrument maker and became the personal instrument maker to Baron Dupuytren, chief surgeon of the Hotel Dieu Hospital.
Clutton (Clutton's sounds)
Hugh Henry Clutton (1850 - 1909) was an English surgeon. Clutton's sounds are graduated, metal, urethral dilators for the treatment of urethral stricture. The term sound stems from their use to feel for bladder stones, listening for the "sound" of the metal hitting the hard stone ... more information
Colles (Colles' fascia)
Abraham Colles (1773–1843) was Professor of Anatomy and Surgery in Dublin. Colles's fascia is the deep inner layer of the subcutaneous, superficial fascia of the perineum, constituting a distinctive structure in the urogenital region. It is a strong, smooth sheet of tissue containing elastic fibers that give it a characteristic yellow tint ... more information
Constantinus Africanus (c.1010-1087) was one of the founders of the School of Medicine in Salerno. He translated Isaac Judaeus’ work into Latin, thereby opening Arabic thought and culture to European Medics ... more information
Deaver (Deaver retractor)
John Blair Deaver (1855 - 1931) lived and worked in Pennsylvania (USA). He was Chief of surgery at the German Hospital, Philadelphia. He was a rough and ready, radical operator. His obituary describes him as a "slasher". He was a great teacher though, and an advocate of early operative intervention for appendicitis. His main field was abdominal surgery and his abdominal retractor remains in common use today. Often being held for long periods by the SHO it has spawned the phrase, "Death by Deaver"
Democritus of Abdera
Democritus of Abdera (460-370 BC) believed that an alteration of the balance of atoms led to their accumulation and to the formation of bladder stones ... more information
Denonvilliers (Denonvilliers' fascia)
Charles Denonvilliers (1808–1872). Professor of Anatomy in Paris and, later, Professor of Surgery. Described the rectovesical fascia, although he called it the ‘‘aponevrose prostatoperitoneale’ ..’. more information
Dormia (Dormia basket)
Enrico Dormia (1928 - 2009), Assistant Professor of Surgery, Milan described the Dormia basket in 1961 for extracting stones from the ureter ... more information
Douglas (Pouch of Douglas)
James Douglas (1675–1742). Scottish anatomist and physician to Queen Caroline of Ansbach (wife of George II). He graduated from Edinburgh in 1694 and took his medical doctorate at Reims. He was an obstetrician or man-midwife and was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of London in 1706. He mentored William Hunter who lived with him in London. His brother, John Douglas was a famous lithotomist. He described the pouch of Douglas (the rectouterine pouch in females or rectovesical pouch in males) ... more information
Duckett (Duckett's procedure)
John W Duckett (1936 - 1997) was a Paediatric Urologist at Philadelphia Children's Hospital who devised innovative approaches to hypospadias, urinary diversion, bladder dysfunction and hydronephrosis. He is best known for the Duckett procedure (a transverse preputial graft for proximal hypospadias) but he also popularised the MAGPI (meatoplasty & glanuloplasty incorporated) procedure for distal hypospadias ... more information
Ellik (Ellik evacuator)
Milo Ellik 1905 – 1976 was an American urologist who invented his evacuator for TURP chips whilst still a resident at the University of Iowa
Finochietto (Finochietto retractor)
Enrique Finochietto (1881 - 1948) was born in Buenos Aires. He won the Legion d'Honneur for his services to the Argentine Hospital in Paris during the First World War, and worked at the Rawson Hospital Buenos Aires. His ratcheted, thoracic retractor is useful during nephrectomy
Foley (Foley catheter)
Frederic Eugene Basil Foley (1891 - 1966) was an American urologist who described a self-retaining balloon catheter in 1929. He improved the design in the 1930s and incorporated an inflatable balloon towards the tip of the tube which could be inflated inside the bladder to retain the catheter without external taping or strapping. He demonstrated this to the American Urologists' Society in 1935 and published a paper in 1937. However, a patent was issued to Paul Raiche of the Davol Rubber Company in 1936. Foley also devised an eponymous Y-V plasty for PUJ obstruction, a hydraulic operating table, a rotatable resectoscope and the first artificial urinary sphincter ... more information
Fournier (Fournier's gangrene)
Jean Fournier (1832–1914) was Professor of Dermatology at Hôpital St Louis, Paris. He described a fulminating gangrene of the external genitalia and lower abdominal wall and also recognized the association between syphilis and tabes dorsalis ... more information
Aelius Galenus or Claudius Galenus (c129 AD - c 216 AD) was born in Pergamon, now Bergama, in Turkey. He was a famous physician, surgeon and philosopher. He became the doctor to many prominent members of Roman society and personal physician to several emperors. Galen's theories dominated and influenced medical science for more than 1,300 years. Medical students continued to study Galen's writings until well into the 19th century. His ideas were eventually disproved by modern research e.g. his anatomical work was disproved by Andreas Vesalius (1543), and his theory of circulation by William Harvey (1628) ... more information
Gerota (Gerota’s fascia)
Dimitrie Gerota (1867–1939) was Professor of Surgery at the University of Bucharest, Romania. Gerota’s fascia (the renal fascia) is a fatty layer of connective tissue encapsulating the kidneys and the adrenal glands ... more information
Guerin (Bacille Calmette–Guerin)
Camille Guerin (1872 1961) was a veterinary surgeon at the Calmette Institute in Lille who, along with Calmette, developed BCG vaccine. Leon Charles Albert Calmette (1863–1933) was a pupil of Pasteur in Paris, later becoming first director of the Pasteur Institute. BCG (Bacille Calmette–Guerin) is an attenuated TB bacillus used for immunotherapy of carcinoma in situ of bladder.
Henle (Loop of Henle)
Friedrich Henle (1809–1885) was Professor of Anatomy in Zurich and Göttingen. The Loop of Henle is the U-shaped segment of the nephron between the proximal and distal convoluted tubules ... more information
Herophilus of Chalcedon
Herophilus of Chalcedon (c. 335-280 BC) was a Greek physician and anatomist who worked in Alexandria. He described the seminal vesicles, the seminal ampullae and the prostate ... more information
Hippocrates (Hippocratic oath)
Hippocrates (c. 460-377 BC) devoted a special book to the study of the urine and recognized at least four conditions of the urinary tract that could be evaluated by the nature and appearance of the urinary outflow ... more information
Hopkins (Hopkins rod lens system)
Harold Horace Hopkins (1918–1994) was a British scientist and Professor of Optics at Reading University. He pioneered the use of fibreoptics and perfected the rod lens which, by reversing the glass and air spaces, greatly improved light transmission ... more information
Hunner (Hunner’s ulcer)
Guy Hunner (1868–1957), Professor of Gynaecology, Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, USA. Hunner’s ulcers were found in the bladder in interstitial cystitis.
Hynes (Anderson - Hynes pyeloplasty)... see Anderson
Isaac Judaeus (850-932) of Egypt wrote a treatise of uroscopy (diagnosis by examination of urine) called "De urinis". Summarising the knowledge of the ancients on the diagnosis and prognosis to be drawn from urine, it was used in European and Muslim medical schools for more than five centuries ... more information
Jaboulay (Jaboulay procedure)
Mathieu Jaboulay (1860–1913), Professor of Surgery in Lyon. The Jaboulay procedure is an operation for hydrocele repair involving excision and folding back of the hydrocele sac.
Klinefelter (Klinefelter’s syndrome )
Harry Klinefelter (1912 - 1990) was Associate Professor of Medicine at Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, USA. Klinefelter’s syndrome is male hypogonadism with an XXY chromosome complement ... more information
Kocher (Kocherisation of the duodenum)
Emil Kocker (1841–1917) was Professor of Surgery at Berne University, Switzerland. A founder of modern surgery, he won the Nobel Prize in 1909 for his work on the physiology, pathology, and surgery of the thyroid gland. Kockerisation of the duodenum is the technique for mobilisation of the 2nd part of the duodenum. It is used in general surgery to gain access to the common bile duct and right hepatic artery, and in urology to expose the inferior vena cava and right renal vein during radical nephrectomy ... more information
Lahey (Lahey forceps)
Frank Howard Lahey (1880–1953). Head of Surgery, Lahey Clinic, Boston he died in the operating theatre of a myocardial infarction. Lahey forceps are fine, curved forceps which were originally designed for gall bladder surgery.
Littlewood (Littlewood's tissue holding forceps)
Harry Littlewood (1861 - 1921) Professor of Surgery at Leeds General Infirmary. Littlewood's forceps were designed for holding the skin edges of abdominal wounds... more information
Lord (Lord's procedure)
Peter H Lord (1925 - 2017) was a Consultant General Surgeon at Wycombe General Hospital, High Wycombe, Bucks. In 1964, whilst a Smith & Nephew Research Fellow at the Royal College of Surgeons of England, he described "a bloodless operation for the radical cure of idiopathic hydrocele" which involved incising and inverting the tunica vaginalis rather than removing it completely ... more information
Mayo (Mayo scissors)
The Mayo brothers, William James Mayo (1861-1939) and Charles Horace Mayo (1865-1939) were the founders of the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, USA. As well as attributing the Mayo family name to a pair of heavy scissors, it is also associated with needle holders and an instrument table ... more information
McIndoe (McIndoe scissors)
Sir Archibald McIndoe (1900-1960) was a New Zealand plastic surgeon, famous for operating on the burnt faces of World War II RAF pilots; his patients formed the "Guinea Pig Club" at East Grinstead Hospital in West Sussex ... more information
Morris (Morris retractor)
Sir Henry Morris (1844 - 1926) a surgeon at the Middlesex Hospital, London and President of the Royal College of Surgeons. He had a special interest in surgical diseases of the urinary organs, and was the author of a book on "Surgical Diseases of Kidneys and Ureter" and another on the injuries and diseases of the genital and urinary organs. His Hunterian Lectures before the Royal College of Surgeons were devoted to the surgery of the kidney. The operation for nephro-lithotomy, or the removal of a calculus from an undilated kidney, was performed for the first time by Sir Henry Morris at the Middlesex Hospital ... more information
Nelson (Nelson's scissors)
Henry Philbrick Nelson (1902 - 1936) was born in New Zealand but trained at Harrow, Gonville & Caius College Cambridge and Bart's. He was a thoracic surgeon working at the Brompton and the Papworth tuberculosis colony. He was also Assistant Surgeon to The London Hospital. Tragically, he died at the young age of 34 of streptococcal sepsis after cutting his finger during surgery. Nelson's scissors are long handled and are particularly useful in deep pelvic operations.
Otis (Otis urethrotome)
Fessenden Nott Otis (1825 - 1900) was an American urologist who calibrated the male urethra, confirming it was 32Ch gauge, thus allowing larger instruments to be developed. The Otis urethrotome is, basically, his "urethrometer" with a dorsal, cutting blade.
Pedanius Dioscorides (40-90) studied the medicinal properties of plants and minerals and wrote "De materia medica". In this, he describes about 200 plants used for the treatment of kidney and bladder diseases. Dioscorides believed in talismans and recommended the use of the Jew-stone, found in Judaea, for dissolving urinary calculi ... more information
Peyronie (Peyronie's disease)
François Gigot de La Peyronie (1678–1747) was a French surgeon. He described a disease of penile curvature that takes his name, although, he may not have been the first to describe it ... more information
Phillips (Phillips whips)
Charles Phillips (1811-1870 was born in Belgium but worked as a urologist in Paris. He devised filliform bougies with a screw thread to allow the connection of serial dilatators for urethral strictures ... more information
Pierre Gilles de Corbeil
Pierre Gilles de Corbeil (1140-1224), also known as Aegidius Corboliensis, wrote "De urinis", "De pulsibus" and "De compositorum medicamentorum", important texts on uroscopy. He distinguished 19 different substances contained in urine, classified by their consistency, quantity and layer in the urine sample ... more information
Randall (Randall's plaques)
Alexander Randall (1883 - 1951), an American Surgeon at John's Hopkins and assistant to Hugh Hampton Young. became Professor of Urology at the University of Pennsylvania. Randall’s plaques are soft tissue calcifications found in the deep renal medulla, skirting the surface of the epithelium of the papilla, where they may act as nucleating elements for renal calculi or stones.
Roberts (Roberts arterial clamps)
James Ernest Helme Roberts (1881 - 1948) was a thoracic surgeon. He was born in West Bromwich in Staffordshire and trained at Barts. He worked at Barts and The Brompton Hospital. Roberts clamps (or forceps) are universally used throughout surgery as heavy vascular clamps.
Scarpa (Scarpa’s fascia)
Antonio Scarpa (1747–1832) was Professor of Anatomy in Modena and Pavia. Scarpa’s fascia is the deep layer of the superficial fascia of the abdominal wall. It is deeper and more membranous than Camper’s Fascia and superficial to the external oblique muscle. It is prolonged on to the dorsum of the penis, forming the fundiform ligament; above, it is continuous with the superficial fascia over the rest of the trunk; below and laterally, it blends with the fascia lata of the thigh a little below the inguinal ligament; medially and below, it is continued over the penis and spermatic cord to the scrotum, where it helps to form the dartos. From the scrotum it may be traced backward into continuity with the deep layer of the superficial fascia of Colles ... more information
Thompson (Thompson's lithotrite)
Sir Henry Thompson (1820 - 1904) was a Victorian polymath whose interests lay in many areas. As a urologist, he succeeded where others had failed in removing a bladder stone from Leopold, King of the Belgians. He designed a "blind" lithotrite which he used for crushing bladder stones ... more information
Thompson (Thompson's prostatic punch)
Gershom J Thompson (1901 - 1975) was a urologist at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA. He modified the "cold" punch which was used routinely by many urologists to resect an enlarged prostate.
von Hippel–Lindau (von Hippel–Lindau, or VHL, disease)
von Hippel–Lindau syndrome is a syndrome of multiple renal cancers. Eugen von Hippel (1867–1939) was an ophthalmologist in Berlin and, Arvid Lindau (1892 - 1958) a Swedish pathologist. In 1904, von Hippel described a rare disorder of the retina and, in 1911, discovered the anatomical basis of this disease, which he named "angiomatosis retinae". It was not until 1926 that the Swedish pathologist Arvid Lindau recognized an association between angiomatosis of the retina and hemangioblastomas of the cerebellum or other parts of the central nervous system. This condition is known today as the Von Hippel-Lindau Disease (VHL) and the genetic defects which cause VHL disease have been unravelled.
Wardill (Wardill test)
William Edward Mandall Wardill (1894 - 1960) was a general surgeon/urologist as well as a renowned plastic surgeon with a particular interest in cleft palate repair. He practised, initially, in Newcastle-upon-Tyne where he introduced punch prostatectomy. With the introduction of the NHS in Britain, he gave up surgery and emigrated to South Africa to become a farmer but, after 4 years, returned to medicine as the Chair of Surgery in Baghdad. His test involved filling the bladder with irrigating fluid, after prostatic surgery, and applying firm suprapubic pressure in an attempt to generate a stream of urine from the penis. This was always taken as a measure of effective prostatic resection; several studies have now shown that it is not predictive of the ability to void after prostatectomy.
Young (Young's retractors)
Hugh Hampton Young (1847 - 1945) was appointed Surgeon-in-Charge of the Genitourinary Surgery Division at Johns Hoplkins Hospital, Baltimore in 1897. In 1904, he became the first surgeon to perform a radical prostatectomy for cancer of the prostate with curative intent. Unfortunately, his first prostatectomy, performed via the perineum, proved to be for a T4 prostate cancer. Six months after the surgery, the patient developed bladder stones, and died of sepsis a month after his stones were crushed transurethrally. Young developed several special instruments to help during perineal prostatectomy, including several types of retractor, to improve the surgeon's view of the prostate, and the Young's tractor, to tip the prostate into the surgical field and make it more accessible ... more information
Zoon (Zoon's balanitis)
Johannes Jacobus Zoon (1902 - 1958) was Professor of Dermatology in the State University Hospital, Utrecht. In 1952, he described an inflammation of the foreskin characterised by dense infiltration with plasma cells (plasma cell balanitis). The condition, of unknown cause, is now widely known as Zoon's balanitis ... more information
If you have any suggestions for eponyms to add to this list, please email the web editor