History of Thyroid Surgery: The Kocher Incision

  • Bertil Hamberger


Goiter has been known and described in the art for several centuries, but thyroid surgery was not frequent, and when performed was linked with high mortality. Modern thyroid surgery started with Theodor Kocher and Theodor Billroth in the last decades of the nineteenth century. By the turn of the century, the basic techniques and principles of thyroid surgery had been established.


Nineteenth Century Recurrent Laryngeal Nerve Total Thyroidectomy Thyroid Surgery Inferior Thyroid Artery 
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Suggested Readings

  1. Dunhill TP (1912) Partial thyroidectomy under local anaesthesia, with special reference to exophthalmic goitre. Joint Meeting with the Medical Section and Section of Anaesthetics. 13 February 1912. Proc R Soc Med 5:70–130Google Scholar
  2. Halsted WS (1920) The operative story of goitre. Johns Hopkins Hosp Rep 19:71–257Google Scholar
  3. Kocher T (1883) Ueber Kropfexstirpation und ihre Folgen [von Langenbeck’s]. Arch klin Chir 29:254–337Google Scholar
  4. Kocher T (1894) Chirurgische Operationslehre. Jena, Zweite Auflage Verlag von Gustav FischerGoogle Scholar
  5. Welbourn RB (1990) The thyroid. In: The history of endocrine surgery. Praeger, New York, pp 19–87Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Molecular Medicine and Surgery, Karolinska InstitutetKarolinska University Hospital Solna L1:03StockholmSweden

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