A timeline of important innovations in Obstetrics and Gynecology.
Jakob Nufer, in Switzerland, around 1500, is reported to have performed the first cesarean delivery in which the mother lived. The mother was his wife, and she reportedly had five children afterwards.
About 1700, Robert Houston of Glasgow, performed either the first successful ovariotomy or perhaps the first successful ovarian cyst drainage. The exact details are unknown. But at least he opened up a woman and drained a large ovarian cyst with success.
Puerperal sepsis was first proposed to be due to an infectious contagion as a result of an observational, epidemiological study in Aberdeen, Scotland.
Ephraim McDowell performed the first successful ovarian cystectomy on Jane Todd Crawford, a cousin of Mary Todd Lincoln, after her physician believed that she was suffering from a post-term pregnancy. She chose surgery over then common slow and painful death associated with large ovarian tumors and made a complete recovery.
G.B. Paletta sought to remove a cancerous tumor from the cervix in 1812, and after the surgery was over, he discovered that he had removed the entire uterus. A hysterectomy was not planned and the surgery was ultimately unsuccessful as the patient died on postoperative day 3.
First modern, documented total vaginal hysterectomy (though certainly not the first).
First ever blood transfusion, performed for postpartum hemorrhage.
Fetal heart tone auscultated for the first time.
First abdominal hysterectomy (the patient died).
First detailed account of fetal heart tones made.
Ether first administered to a woman in labor.
Puerperal fever shown to be caused by infectious contagion through interventional trial proving that it could be prevented.
Chloroform first used as an anesthetic, used during labor.
Vesicovaginal fistula successfully treated with surgery.
First successful, planned abdominal hysterectomy (Lowell, Massachusetts)
First successful adbominal hysterectomy (Lowell, Massachusetts)
First human artificial insemination.
First operative hysteroscopy performed.
First oopherectomy for sepsis.
First bilateral oopherectomy for menorrhagia.
First successful Cesarean-Hysterectomy.
First cholecystotomy (patient died).
First successful cholecystotomy.
First removal of hydatid cust.
First appendectomy for acute appendicitis.
Classical Cesarean Section technique (including closing myotomy) first described.
First successful radical abdominal hysterectomy for cervical cancer.
Transverse skin and fascial incision reported.
First successful series of vaginal cesarean sections reported.
Use of rubber gloves in surgery popularized.
First successful salpingectomy for ectopic pregnancy.
Spinal anesthesia first used in labor.
Epidural anesthesia first used in labor.
First successful laparoscopy performed (through incision in vaginal fornix).
Sulphonamides first used to treat puerperal fever in Queen Charlotte’s Hospital.
Lower uterine segment incision for cesarean section shown to be superior.
First screening test for cancer introduced (for cervical cancer).
Penicillin first used successfully in a human patient, Anne Miller, to treat septic abortion.
Clinical efficacy and pharmicokinetics of Penicillin established (originally for treatment of syphilis).
Oxytocin synthesized (the first posterior pituitary hormone synthesized)
Ultrasound developed (originally for obstetric use).
First solid tumor cured by chemotherapy (choriocarcinoma, methotrexate).
Modern laparoscopy technique introduced (insufflation, Trendelenburg position, etc.).
Automatic insufflator invented for laparoscopy.
In vitro fertilization first performed successfully.
First laparascopic cholecystectomy performed (during a gynecologic laparoscopy).