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Claude F. Dixon 1893–1968


Claude Dixon was born in Piedmont, Kansas, on January 28, 1893. He received his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Kansas in 1919 and his Doctor of Medicine from the same university in 1921. Following an internship at the University of Kansas Hospital, he entered Mayo Graduate School as a resident. In 1928 he became a member of the Clinic staff and head of the section of general surgery, a post he held until he retired in July 1957.

As a Fellow of the Mayo Graduate School of Medicine, Dixon was trained in operative surgery by Charles Mayo, whose first surgical assistant he was for two years. Dixon became increasingly interested in abdominal surgery, particularly in surgery of the colon. His reputation was recognized not only in this field, but also that of head and neck surgery. He contributed more than 300 papers to the surgical literature on a variety of subjects.

Claude Dixon is generally regarded as one of the leaders in the development of anterior resection. This operative procedure evolved over approximately 30 years to the point where it could be undertaken safely, without, in most instances, a diverting colostomy. In thisClassic article. Dixon still advises a transverse colostomy, but over the ensuing years he and others became more restrictive in implementing the procedure concurrently with anterior resection.

Dixon was a member of numerous surgical societies, both in the United States and abroad. He retired from the Mayo Clinic in 1957, and died on September 11, 1968, a few days after having undergone abdominal surgery.

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  1. 1.

    Coller, F. A., E. B. Kay and R. S. MacIntyre: Regional lymphatic metastasis of carcinoma of rectum. Surgery 8:294–311, 1940.

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  2. 2.

    Dixon, C. F.: Surgical removal of lesions occurring in the sigmoid and rectosigmoid. Am J Surg. 46:12–17, 1939.

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  3. 3.

    Dixon, C. F.: Resection without permanent colostomy for carcinoma of the rectosigmoid and lower portion of the pelvic colon. In Pack, G. T. and E. M. Livingston. Treatment of cancer and allied diseases. New York, Paul B. Hoeber, Inc., 1940.

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  4. 4.

    — Anterior resection for carcinoma low in the sigmoid and the rectosigmoid. Surgery, 15:367–377, 1944.

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  5. 5.

    Dixon, C. F. and R. E. Benson: Closure of colonic stoma: improved results with combined succinylsulfathiazole and sulfathiazole therapy. Ann. Surg. 120:562–571, 1944.

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  6. 6.

    —: Carcinoma of sigmoid and rectosigmoid involving urinary bladder; surgical management in sixty-four cases. Surgery. 18:191–199, 1945.

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  7. 7.

    Gilchrist, R. K. and V. C. David: Lymphatic spread of carcinoma of rectum. Ann. Surg. 108:621–642, 1938.

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  8. 8.

    Meyer, K. A., Alfred Sheridan and D. D. Kozoll: One stage “open” resection of lesions of the left colon without complementary colostomy. Surg. Gynec. & Obst. 81:507–514, 1945.

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  9. 9.

    Miles, W. E.: Cancer of the rectum. London, Harrison and Sons, Ltd., 1926.

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  10. 10.

    Pemberton: Personal communication to the author.

  11. 11.

    Wangensteen, O. H.: Primary resection (closed anastomosis) of the rectal ampulla for malignancy with preservation of sphincteric function; together with a further account of primary resection of the colon and rectosigmoid and a note on excision of hepatic metastases. Surg., Gynec. & Obst. 81:1–24, 1945.

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  12. 12.

    Waugh, J. M. and M. D. Custer, Jr.: Segmental resection of lesions occurring in the left half of the colon with primary end-to-end aseptic anastomosis; report based on fifty cases. Proc. Staff Meet., Mayo Clinic. 20:124, 1945.

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    Waugh, J. M. and R. P. Glover: The retrograde lymphatic spread of carcinoma of the “rectosigmoid region”; its influence on surgical procedures. Surg., Gynec. & Obst. 82:434–448, 1946.

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  1. 14.

    Dixon CF. Anterior resection for malignant lesions of the upper part of the rectum and lower part of the sigmoid. Ann Surg 1948;128:425–42.

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  2. 15.

    Biography—Rochester Post Bulletin 1968 Sept 11. Mayovox 1968 Sept. 20.

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Additional information

Read before the American Surgical Association, Quebec, Canada, May 27, 1948.

I am indebted to Dr. A. L. Lichtman and Dr. G. Lowe for some of the material used in preparation of this paper.

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Dixon, C.F. Claude F. Dixon 1893–1968. Dis Colon Rectum 27, 419–429 (1984).

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