The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/Kocher, Emil Theodor
KOCHER, kōg'ẽr, Emil Theodor, Swiss surgeon: b. Berne, 1841; d. there, 1 Aug. 1917. He studied medicine in his native city and surgery in Berlin, London and Paris. He returned to his native place and in 1866 began his long connection with the university there. In 1872 he became full professor and director of the surgical clinic there. He was the first surgeon to operate successfully for goitre. His treatment consisted in withdrawing from functional activity part of the thyroid gland in the neck. This was accomplished by removing the lobes of the gland or by tying off its blood supply. His later work included study of the blood in exophthalmic goitre study of cancer of the thyroid, curability of cancer of the stomach and the prevention of cretinism. He was awarded the Nobel prize for medicine in 1909. His works include ‘Die antiseptische Wundbehandlung’ (1881); ‘Vorlesungen über chirurgische Infektionskrankheiten’ (1895); ‘Chiruigische Operationslehre’ (1894); Eng. trans. as ‘Textbook of Operative Surgery’ (2 vols., 1911). The last work is esteemed as a classic in its field.