Document Detail

Benjamin Winslow Dudley and early American trephination for posttraumatic epilepsy.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  9218316     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Benjamin Winslow Dudley (1785-1870) was a Kentucky frontier surgeon who received basic medical education in the United States and extensive surgical training in Europe. He returned to Lexington to become a dominant figure and the most prominent surgical teacher in the Mississippi Valley. Written evidence of Dudley's operative accomplishments are sparse, but he seems to have combined the finest French (Dominique Jean Larrey, Guillaume Dupuytren) and British (Henry Cline, John Abernethy, Astley Cooper) surgical training with conservative and thoughtful patient selection. His operative endeavors in the preantiseptic era included trephination for posttraumatic epilepsy in six patients (1819-1832). This was the largest recorded series of such cases, and it stimulated other American surgeons to trephine for relief of posttraumatic seizures. Trephination for decompression and debridement was undertaken at the site of original injury to remove the cause of "cerebral excitement" and restore "corporeal and intellectual function." Dudley considered this a safe operation in "cautious, firm, and intelligent hands." He thought crowded urban hospitals were unsafe and attributed his better surgical results to the clean, rural Kentucky air. Dudley's achievement is contrasted with other Early American preantiseptic trephinations for posttraumatic epilepsy.
R L Jensen; J L Stone
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Biography; Historical Article; Journal Article; Portraits    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Neurosurgery     Volume:  41     ISSN:  0148-396X     ISO Abbreviation:  Neurosurgery     Publication Date:  1997 Jul 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1997-08-19     Completed Date:  1997-08-19     Revised Date:  2008-11-21    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7802914     Medline TA:  Neurosurgery     Country:  UNITED STATES    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  263-8     Citation Subset:  IM; Q    
Department of Neurosurgery, Loyola University, Chicago Medical Center, Cook County Hospital, Illinois, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Epilepsy, Post-Traumatic / history*,  surgery
History, 18th Century
History, 19th Century
Trephining / history*
United States
Personal Name Subject
Personal Name Subject:
B W Dudley

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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