CBE, MCh, FRCS
1904 - 1998
Denis Poole-Wilson (1904 – 1998) was an outstanding urologist of the post-war years. He qualified in 1928 and in 1930 took his first post in Manchester, under Geoffrey Jefferson, the neurosurgeon at the Salford Royal Hospital. But it was his experience in his next post, under J B MacAlpine, a pioneer in endoscopic urology, that helped determine the progress of his career. As surgeon from 1934 to the Royal Manchester Children's Hospital and to the Salford Royal Hospital, he became known for his expertise in urology.
During the Second World War, he served as a Lieutenant Colonel in the RAMC, commanding the Surgical Division of the 72nd General Hospital with the 8th Army, serving in North Africa and Italy, including the Monte Cassino battle. His specialist skills were recognised when he formed a unit for genito-urinary injuries in Naples and then in Rome. The 100 bed unit was affectionately known as "Poole's Piss Palace".
In 1945, he returned to Manchester to take over from MacAlpine as a specialist urologist. In the next year, he was appointed to the staff of the Christie Hospital and Holt Radium Institute, where he gained enormous experience of bladder cancer and other maligancies.
He was particulary interested in occupational bladder tumours; here Poole-Wilson made a notable contribution, undertaking a review of a large series of 182 patients with occupational tumours of the urinary tract under his and McAlpine’s care in Manchester. Poole-Wilson stressed early tumour detection with microscopic examination of the urine for red blood cells using the wet smear technique, routine cystoscopy and cytological diagnosis.
Read his obituary in Plarr 's "Lives of the Fellows Online"
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